Under the name "Rhododendrons"( Latin Rhododéndron), more than a thousand varieties of shrubs and trees are united. This genus belongs to the famous family of Heathers. Most plants of the genus rhododendron are distinguished by exquisite lush colors. They are the ones that hit plant growers all over the world with their purple, pink, white, red flowers. To this genus belong and all the beloved azaleas grown in conditions of enclosed soil.
Species and varieties of rhododendron
The breeding of rhododendrons in Russia began to be practiced since the middle of the seventeenth century. The genus is divided into several large groups, which include a large number of plant varieties. I would like to note the fact that to date the varieties that were bred in the eighteenth century have not lost their relevance! The fact is that with the next sowing the plant acquires a new shade of inflorescence and a different form of leaves.
Shade-tolerant and very frost-resistant shrub,
The following varieties belong to the Catawba rhododendron:
This species of rhododendrons got its name, thanks to an exceptionally dense crown of shrubs. Plants of this species are undersized, yielding an annual increment of no more than three centimeters. The species is characterized by frost resistance, prefers wet air-permeable soils.
To a dense rhododendron are such varieties as:
This kind of rhododendron loves the plant growers of our country for its incredible frost resistance. Differs quite high growth( some varieties reach up to one and a half meters in length!).A feature of this species is the presence of small scales that cover the leaves of the plant from the bottom. One can cite as an example the two most popular varieties of the Karolinsky rhododendron:
These are just some of the species and varieties of rhododendron. Also distinguish the Caucasian, Daurian, Yakushiman species. In total, more than a hundred different varieties belong to them, most of which are frost-resistant and can be grown without difficulty even in the conditions of severe climate.
Planting of rhododendron. Preparation for thewintering
In the wild, rhododendrons choose places that are closest to the slopes of the mountains or to water bodies. Plants like very much rainfall. Therefore, when grown on a private plot, they need to recreate the conditions in which they are accustomed to exist in a natural habitat. It is preferable to plant rhododendrons on such a dream site, which would be reliably protected from drafts, as well as in partial shade. In addition, you need to consider the extent of growth of rhododendrons. For example, decorative shrubs up to 40 cm high can be planted in close proximity to the fence or to residential buildings. But varieties of rhododendron, differing in a massive crown, it is better to plant away from all kinds of interference.
The best time to plant a rhododendron is spring. It is necessary to wait for the moment when the threat of nocturnal frosts passes and all snow will come down - approximately in late April-early May .
If in general, then almost all varieties of rhododendron like breathable loose soil, characterized by high acidity. To plant a rhododendron, it is necessary to prepare a substrate consisting of peat, leaf earth and sand.
When planting a rhododendron, it is necessary to provide good drainage, up to 30 cm thick. As a drain, white brick, pebbles, gravel, and calcareous crushed stone are also excellent. You should pay special attention to the size of the pit, in which you plan to plant the future shrub. Its depth may not be very large( 50-60 cm), but wide. This is important for the root systems of the rhododendron, since it is located very close to the soil surface.
You can propagate rhododendron in three traditional ways: seeds, cuttings and cuttings.
On the territory of our country, plant growers prefer to grow frost-resistant varieties of ornamental shrubs. Some of them are able to maintain their rich green color even in severe frosts.
Varieties that do not tolerate a low sharp drop in temperature should be prepared for winter. With the onset of the first frosts, decorative shrubs are covered with burlap, and the top is wound with a rope. In the early spring, when the air temperature is set at a positive mark, the shelter is removed.
Rhododendron watering should be carried out according to a strictly established scheme, because this plant does not like excessive soil moistening, but at the same time it can be attributed to hygrophilous. It is recommended to water the bush in the hot season three times a week for ten liters per each bush( for varieties that are small, enough will be five liters).In especially arid days rhododendron needs to be sprayed.
Rhododendron loves feeding, which should be done twice a year - early spring and after flowering. For these purposes, the Kemira-universal fertilizer, which can be purchased at any gardening store, is great.
If all of the above recommendations are met, then with the growth of rhododendron you will not have absolutely no problems!