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Rhododendrons in the garden near Moscow

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Rhododendrons decorate the gardens with their bright flowers of the most diverse colors. Rhododendrons are many different species and hybrid forms of the genus Rhododendron. Among them there are both low-growing shrubs and small trees. Rhododendron flowers can be white, purple, red, pink or bright yellow. To grow in his summer cottage in the suburbs a beautiful and amazing plant called rhododendron, you need to know what subspecies of this tree exist and how to properly care for them. In this question will help the study of the origin of the exotic shrub and its natural habitat.

Selection of a variety of rhododendrons

Of course, tropical varieties have stunningly large and beautiful flowers, but choosing them for your garden is not recommended. This is due to how hard it is to grow rhododendrons in the suburbs. Planting and care are complicated by climatic conditions, changes in day and night temperatures, frost and the lack of necessary humidity. Our fellow citizens who have moved to England, note that growing these capricious plants becomes simple entertainment.

That is why we pay attention only to the strongest and resistant to natural anomalies of the variety. There are about 18 of such a huge number of varieties (about 600), they all grow on the territory of the former USSR and are on the verge of extinction. Many are listed in the Red Book.

Choosing a place for planting rhododendrons

It all starts with determining the permanent residence of rhododendron. This is an important point, as the plant will die if conditions not close to its native habitat are met. Most of all, it prefers places where it is observed:

  • lack of wind and drafts,
  • sun shading
  • elevation (for draining water).

It is preferable to plant on the north-east side of the house - this is how the necessary protection will be present. In the lowlands with the presence of stagnant moisture, the plant begins to wither and gradually dies. When planting in the open ground in the fall, new seedlings are better covered to prevent them from freezing in winter.

The soil for planting rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are demanding to the ground. Land for planting should be with an acidic environment. Also in it the presence of peat is desirable. If the soil does not match the recommended, then you need to change it. For this purpose, a mixture consisting of peat, leafy ground (or sawdust) and river sand is added to the pit prepared for planting. Sulfur is poured to it, for acidification of the soil and complex fertilizers.

Rhododendron planting technology

To prepare a sapling for planting, it is enough to place its root system in a bucket of water until bubbles no longer stand on the surface. Young plants should be planted in small holes in the shade. In 2-3 years they will fully grow stronger and will be ready to show themselves in all their glory in a more spacious area.

In order to avoid stagnation of water in the roots, it is recommended to plant bushes on high hills, or to organize a drainage layer 15–20 cm high. It is made of rubble or broken brick. The rosewood does not need too deep a hole, because the root system is of superficial type.

For landing use the following algorithm:

  • Dig a hole the size of 60 by 60 cm and 40 cm deep
  • lay out the drainage layer
  • fill the part of the well with the substrate so that the root neck is equal to the ground,
  • tamp the earthen mixture and place the seedling in a hole, straighten the roots,
  • Add the required amount of substrate, tamp,
  • shower abundantly and grind perennial circle with peat, needles or foliage of oak,
  • if necessary, install temporary support.

Rhododendron care after planting

After landing for two weeks, rhododendrons are desirable to pritenit. To do this, I put the arcs and fix the non-wrap only from the south side, it is desirable to leave the plants ajar from the north for air access. Neither in the year of planting, nor the next year the plant will not bloom or endow with scarce flowering, but in subsequent years will thank in full.

Watering and spraying rhododendrons

Evergreen and semi-evergreen rhododendrons need high humidity, they will be grateful for planting near an artificial pond with a fountain or at a reservoir. If this is not possible, it is advisable to spray the plants with water using a sprayer or spray hose as often as possible, especially in hot weather. When using tap water, you need to be careful, the first seconds may be hot water, especially if the hose is in the sun, so you need to drain it in order not to burn the plants. It is convenient not only to drench the plants from the hose, but also the nearest trees and paths to create additional moisture.

Fertilizers begin to be carried out mainly in the beginning of spring, and they finish at the end of July, when the flowering takes place and the growth of young shoots begins. The best fertilizer for such plants is humus. It must be filled with water in the ratio of 1:15, then allowed to stand for a couple of days and then use it as a fertilizer. Be sure to water the shrubs before feeding.

Rhododendrons do not really need pruning, since they can form the correct form by nature. But still, it is sometimes necessary to shave off too high shrubs, remove dead shoots and rejuvenate the whole bush. First of all, proceed to this procedure at the very beginning of spring, until the juice begins to move along the stalks. In the place where the stems are 2-4 cm thick, the cuts should be processed with garden pitch. After that, buds will start to appear on those places, starting the updating process. As for old and heavily frozen bushes, they should be cut at a height of 30-40 cm from the ground. During the first year - one half of the bush, during the second - the other.

Diseases and pests of rhododendrons

There are a lot of enemies of the plant, and with your connivance they can destroy a wonderful bush in a short time. What pests are attracted by rhododendron? I will name the most popular:

  • snail,
  • scythe,
  • slug,
  • spider mite,
  • rhododendral fly,
  • mealybug.

Snails and slugs you have to collect hands, having acquired the necessary patience. From other pests get insecticides and karbofos. Prophylactic fungicide treatments will help prevent insects.

What diseases threaten rhododendron? Most often it is fungi. It is necessary to deal with them skillfully - remove all the affected shoots to a healthy clean tissue and process bushes with copper sulfate. There will also be no extra prevention. It is carried out by Bordeaux liquid several times per season.

Shelter of rhododendrons for the winter

It happens that autumn does not spoil us with rain. Do not stop watering the bush, but slightly reduce the amount of water. If there is enough rain, then additional moisture will not be needed. In the autumn, put a thick layer of peat around the rhododendron; it will serve as additional warming.

Expect a frosty winter? Do not rely on the resistance of the plant, and collect shoots in a bundle, tie with twine and wrap sacking. Extra precaution does not hurt if you do not want to risk your pet. In the spring, do not be late with the removal of the cover; small frosts do not carry a threat. Immediately inspect the plant carefully and remove the frost-damaged shoots.

It all starts with choosing a landing site.

It would be ideal to plant rhododendrons, especially evergreens, in the undergrowth, in a scattered shade under the canopy of tall pines or fir trees, that is, where they grow in nature. But we don’t have such a place, so I tried to set it where the sun would be at a minimum.
When choosing a landing site, it should be noted that rhododendrons do not like low areas where water can stagnate. They do not like direct sunlight and draining, cold winds. They prefer shaded quiet places with abundant watering and rich humus acidic substrate.

We have part of rhododendrons growing from the north-eastern part of the house, where the sun is only before lunch. But in winter, this sun is enough to destroy (dry up) flower buds.
After the winter, when for the first time I decided to leave the rhododendrons unopened, the blessing allowed us to resist winter resistance, and they grew up and acclimatized, in the spring they were all alive and well. All began to swell flower buds, but the flowers from them never appeared. The buds inside were empty, simply dried! Although the bushes themselves grew and turned green. So, in my sad experience, I realized that for those rhododendrons I’m talking about, in our region in winter it’s not frost that is terrible, but the sun and the wind. Since then, deciduous rhododendrons for the winter I tie with a string and tie a top with a lutrazil kerchief. I do it for shading flower buds from the sun and, as a result, draining. Otherwise, overwinter overwinter, but may not bloom.


Winter protection of deciduous rhododendron

And for evergreen rhododendrons, on which the sun hits the winter, it is necessary to install a protective screen from a pritenochny grid.


Pritonechny grid on rhododendrons

Those bushes that grow under the protection of overgrown thujs, where there are very few suns, overwinter without shelter. The buds are in good order and in spring they bloom beautifully.


Rhododendrons in winter


Rhododendrons in winter

"Running on a rake"

I did it to myself ((I didn’t have enough time last fall or was too lazy to put a pritenoi screen on one evergreen rhododendron on which the sun falls. I decided that I would have time to do it in March. But several sunny and windy March days managed to do their dirty work. When I came to the dacha to put up the screen, found that most of the buds on it were already brown, that is, they died and, as a result, this spring he will rest from the flowers ... and I also ((I know what to do, but no, I did not! Again, on the same rake.


Brown rhododendron buds


Dead Rhododendron Flower Buds


Dead rhododendron flower buds in section

For comparison, I will show a bush that grows almost in the shade under the protection of the thuja, the sun sees a minimum (not more than an hour) and winters without shelter. His kidneys are all green.


Flower buds of rhododendron in winter

In addition to the kidneys, the leaves of evergreen rhododendrons can suffer from the sun. In winter, leaf cover evaporates moisture in the sun, while plant roots find it difficult to get water from frozen ground to compensate for this loss of water. And as a result, the leaves may die.
In order to reduce the evaporation of moisture, the leaves of evergreen rhododendrons in winter are twisted into tubules. This is their normal state. In the spring, when the earth thaws, the leaves are straightened. If the ground does not freeze through the snow, then the leaves are not curled.


Rhododendron in winter

I am telling about it in such detail because if someone decides to plant these wonderful plants, it’s better to study other people's “rakes” than he will run through his own.
From the foregoing, the conclusion suggests itself that in the conditions of the Moscow region because of the low level of air humidity at rhododendrons, flower buds can be dried out in the winter, and they will have to be protected for the winter from the sun and wind. My St. Petersburg acquaintances do not have such problems due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea.

Planting, watering and care

The key to successful plant development is not only watering and care, but first and foremost, its proper planting. I think the best landing time is spring.

Rhododendrons have a very compact and superficial root system. We planted pit depths for landing.

40 cm wide

60-70 cm. On heavy clays, I would do less deep

30 cm, but wider

1.0-1.2 m. It is very important that the substrate for rhododendrons is acidic.
We have sod-podzolic soils of the Moscow region, but still, for some plants it is necessary to acidify the soil by artificial means. The landing pit was filled with a mixture of special soil for rhododendrons, coniferous and leafy ground, river sand and, of course, among other things, peat was added to the landing hole. But peat peat strife. It can be riding, and can be lowland. The origin of peat affects its chemical composition. High peat is sour - 3-4 pH, in lowland peat, in which 70% organic matter, the reaction is slightly acidic or neutral - 5.5-7 pH - this information is taken from “smart” books. Therefore, for plants loving acidic soils, I contribute only high-moor peat. In the soil mixture added the total mineral fertilizer at the rate of 150 g / m². and 40-60 g of colloidal sulfur. Fertilizer should not contain calcium. I used special fertilizers for rhododendrons. The soil should be loose and breathable.

When planting rhododendron, the root collar should not be buried, it should be at ground level. Pulling a bush out of the pot, it is necessary to soak the roots a little in the water and then carefully “razderbanit” this root ball MANDATORY! And only after that plant.

For most plants grown in pots, a dense crust of dead roots is formed on the surface of the coma from all sides. It must be removed, or at least cut through in several places. Otherwise, the young roots will not break through it, and the plant will receive few nutrients, which in turn can lead to death. I wrote about this several times in other posts. By the way, I also plant hydrangeas.

After planting, the plant must be watered and mulched.
I make a mulch from coniferous leaves. The soil under the mulch should not dry out. I try to water with acidified water with the addition of apple or 9% vinegar (30-40 ml per bucket), citric acid (3-4 g per bucket of water), etc.

And now about the important. I have a lot of such plants, you can't run into a hot summer with watering cans. Sometimes it is necessary to water from a hose with water from a well, and it is hydrocarbonate. So, I decided the problem as follows. First, I put it in the planting hole, and then once a year, in the spring I plant 1 bag of Teovit Jet under the adult bush (this is a colloid sulfur, it is colloid sulfur, because simple dissolves very badly and can be very lumpy on the soil surface. This drug is usually used as a fungicide, but when introduced into the soil sulfur gives the necessary acidification of the soil for a long time. And when you have to pour water from a well, my rhododendrons feel great, and even the acid under them grows by itself. I don’t get rid of the sour, it does not harm the roots, but on the contrary is a natural forest “partner” of rhododendrons. In addition, the acid is an indicator of acidity and soil moisture. And not to be unfounded, show photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good photo, but if you take a good look, you can see a sour face under rhododendron bushes. In the same way I acidify the soil under hydrangeas.

Oxygen under the rhododendron bushes.


Oxygen under rhododendron bushes

In hot weather, rhododendrons like spraying, but it is better to do it in the morning or evening, so that the leaves do not get stung in the sun. Late in the fall, before wintering, I do abundant watering of the bushes. It helps them to winter better.

Equally important is the care of the soil. Since the root system of rhododendrons is superficial, loosen the soil around the bushes can't, and better to mulch coniferous litter (layer 5-7 cm). Weeding must be done manually, but with such a layer of mulch weeds are very few. I will not say anything about the mulching with sawdust, because I have not tried it. In addition, in the winter mulch is a heater for the roots. The photo above clearly visible coniferous mulch.

Another important point is the timely removal of the flowering inflorescences. Lesson is tedious, but I do it gradually, as it blossoms. This action prevents the formation of seeds, and directs the power of the plant to the flower buds of the next year.

Feed the plants a bit. Early in spring - with special mineral fertilizers, and after flowering - with phosphorus-potassium and humates (soluble). Fertilizers should not contain calcium.

If there is a need to adjust the shape of the bush, then you can make pruning. It is made immediately after flowering and no later than 20 days after flowering, otherwise flower buds will not have time to plant on new shoots. I read about this on the sites of Western “gurus” according to rhododendrons, and I myself prune my plants like that.

From all that I have written here, I briefly summarize: having planted a frost-resistant variety in the “right” place with the “right” agricultural techniques, you will enjoy beautiful flowers for many years. It only seems to be difficult, but in fact everything is much simpler, but what a beauty!


Rhododendrons


Rhododendrons

Miracle Plant Rhododendron

The plant received its name from the Greek word and in translation means nothing more than a rose tree. The genus of rhododendrons is the largest in the world and includes 1300 species and about 30,000 varieties of deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen trees and shrubs. Эти потрясающие и удивительные растения пользуются невероятной популярностью во всем мире. Интерес к ним садоводы проявляют не только из-за декоративной листвы и разнообразной формы кустов, но и, прежде всего, из-за красивейших цветов – лиловых, розовых, белых, фиолетовых, красных, собранных в большие соцветия.

In the wild, rhododendrons mainly live in the northern hemisphere - Japan, South China, Southeast Asia and North America. They grow in coastal regions of rivers, oceans and seas, preferring the undergrowth penumbra and the northern slopes of the mountains. There are rhododendrons that can grow up to 30 centimeters in height, while others look like creeping shrubs. The beautiful flowers of this plant can have very different shapes. The largest of them reach twenty centimeters in diameter, and the smallest sometimes have very tiny sizes.

Suitable varieties for the Moscow region

If you are a fan of such a beautiful plant and plan to grow rhododendrons in the suburbs, planting and care will require a lot of work from you. First of all, you should pay attention to the fact that for our region it makes sense to pay attention exclusively to winter-hardy varieties.

The best varieties for the Moscow region are Treelike, Daursky, Yellow (Pontic Azalea), Canadian, Kamchatka, Gummy, Fori, Large Leaf, Largest, Ketebinsky, Makino, Ledebura, Dense, Small-leaved, Smirnova, Pink, Schlieppenbacha, Japanese, Yekushim, Yekushchim, Yekushim, Yekushim, Yekushchim, Yekushchim, Yekushchim, Yekushim Vasey. All of them perfectly tolerate cold winter weather and summer heat.

If you set a goal, you can grow beautiful rhododendrons in the suburbs. Planting and care, of course, will require some knowledge from you, because you need to create suitable conditions for the plant.

Canadian Rhododendron

Deciduous rhododendrons in the Moscow region are well accustomed. These varieties include Canadian rhododendron. It is a shrub whose height reaches 70 centimeters. The leaves of the plant have a bluish tint. It blooms about two weeks in May. Flowers purple-violet color collected in the inflorescences (5-7 pieces). This grade differs in unpretentiousness and frost resistance. It can be planted not only in the sun, but also in the shade, dry and slightly wetted areas are suitable for it. The beautiful foliage of the plant makes it decorative throughout the season.

Such winter hardy rhododendrons for the Moscow region are a good option for amateur gardeners. Even beginning gardeners can cope with their cultivation.

Ledebura is a semi-evergreen, branchy shrub reaching a height of 3.5 meters. The plant has large flowers of pink-purple color. Its flowering begins in April (after melting snow) and lasts for several weeks. The flowers of this variety practically do not differ from the inflorescences of the Sikhotinsky, Daursky and Pointed varieties. But, unlike other species, Ledebour rhododendron after hibernation changes the color of the leaves, they become brownish-purple hue.

Rhododendron Japanese

Deciduous rhododendrons in the Moscow region (planting and care will be described by us later in the article) hibernate and bloom profusely. These species include the Japanese variety. The plant is a branched shrub, reaching a height of two meters. Large flowers (6-8 centimeters in diameter) are collected in inflorescences of 6-12 pieces and have a salmon-red color with bright orange spots. They exude a stunning aroma. The flowering period of rhododendrons begins at the end of May and lasts for three weeks. In autumn, the leaves of rhododendron acquire a yellow-purple color. Japanese variety is completely winter hardy.

White-flowered form of this species is no less attractive. It is characterized by large white inflorescences with yellow veins and a greenish spot.

Rhododendron Yellow

Yellow variety refers to branched shrubs, reaching a height of 1.5 meters. The plant grows to a width of three meters. There are many subspecies that differ from each other only in size and shades of foliage. Flowers of bright yellow color are collected in large inflorescences and exude a wonderful aroma. The plant blooms in the second half of May and pleases gardeners within two to three weeks. Such a variety is absolutely not demanding to the soil and can grow even on loams.

Rhododendron Pink

Pink rhododendron in the Moscow region (photos of plants are given in the article) blooms in late May. Deciduous variety has beautiful pink flowers with a pleasant aroma. Pink species belongs to the North American plants and is considered the most winter-hardy. The only small drawback is the small size of the flowers. The rest of the variety is perfect for our latitudes.

Vasey variety

Vazeya belongs to the North American species and is a deciduous shrub reaching two meters. Pale pink flowers are a bit like butterflies. They bloom before the leaves appear and are completely odorless. The plant may well grow in a sunny place, while its foliage will have a purple shade throughout the season. Unfortunately, the flowers are small and delight the eye for only two weeks.

Planting site

In order to grow rhododendrons in the suburbs, planting and caring for them must be made taking into account all the nuances that are important for such exotics. Otherwise, the plant may simply wither or not give a beautiful flowering. The most destructive factors for it can be considered an overabundance of the sun and strong winds. For this reason, protected areas are selected for planting from the northeast or north side of the house or the fence, which will cover the plants from direct sunlight. It is worth knowing that "sissies" suffer not only from the summer sun, but also from the spring rays. Rhododendron buds can be burned by the sun in late February. Therefore, plants need special care. In early spring, the bush should be applied to the west and south, but it should be left a gap for ventilation.

Plants can be planted near trees, but it is worth remembering that they should not coexist with those that have a shallow root system. Exot can die in an unequal struggle for moisture and nutrition. Strictly not approaching as neighbors lime trees, chestnuts, maples and birches, but oaks, pines and fruit trees have a good effect on rhododendrons. The best varieties for the Moscow region are very demanding to the place of growth.

Planting soil

If you decide to plant rhododendrons in the Moscow region, then you should pay attention to the soil in which you plan to make a landing. Plants fit loose soil with an acidic environment and moisture removal, but this should not allow the soil to dry out. Experienced gardeners recommend preparing a special mixture consisting of sour peat (with PH = 1.5-5.5), pine needles and loam. Components must be taken in a ratio of 2: 1: 3. All of them are incredibly important for and needed by plants. Peat provides nourishment and gives the necessary acidity, loam protects the soil from excessive drying, and pine needles give looseness and breathability.

How to plant rhododendron

Growing rhododendrons in the Moscow region requires more attention from gardeners than in the southern regions. But with the right approach, you can achieve abundant flowering plants. Rhododendrons have a fairly compact, fibrous root system, therefore, with the right extraction of the plant from the soil, transplantation is completely painless. Rhododendrons are very fond of moisture, but at the same time do not tolerate an excess of water. Therefore, it is recommended to do drainage in the flooded or swampy areas.

Since plants have a compact root system, you shouldn’t dig big holes when planting. The optimal well size is forty centimeters deep and sixty in diameter. The prepared hole is filled with substrate (its composition is given by us earlier), after which the soil is tamped down. Next, dig a small hole, sufficient for small roots of the plant and plant rhododendron in it. Immediately before planting, the roots must be lowered into the water for some time and kept there until air bubbles cease to appear. The plant is planted at the same depth at which it grew in the container. Excessive deepening can only harm the plant.

In no case should not use black soil, manure, and sawdust as components for the substrate.

Rhododendrons of the Moscow region: care

Just planting a plant is not enough. Rhododendrons in the Moscow region require care. If the plant is planted correctly and the prepared substrate is used, the situation is simplified. In the first year after planting, rhododendron is very important not to allow it to experience a lack of moisture. Evergreen varieties are especially sensitive in this sense. Watering the plant is better with soft river or rainwater. But to loosen the soil directly near the bush is not recommended because it can damage the root system. Weeds pull out without undermining.

Growing rhododendrons in the suburbs, do not forget about dressings, to which plants react very positively. It is recommended to use mineral approvals, especially good liquid ones (it is necessary to choose dressings intended specifically for rhododendrons). Shrubs react very positively to granular fertilizers, for example, Kemira Universal. It can be applied in a dry form, scattering around the plant. Top dressing is carried out from the beginning of May until the end of June (every two weeks). But in August and July, the plants should not be touched.

Speaking about how to grow rhododendron in the Moscow region, it is worth mentioning that you can not use granular fertilizers, which have a prolonged effect. In our latitudes, their use can lead to re-growth in August, and, accordingly, to freeze of young shoots. In general, at the end of the summer watering should be significantly reduced, so that young twigs do not grow.

Rhododendron Reproduction

We talked about how to grow rhododendron in the suburbs. But no less important is the issue of reproduction of this beautiful plant. It is not always possible to purchase high-quality seedlings, so it is easier to breed your own, if you already have rhododendron at the site or take shoots from friends. The plant multiplies in the following ways: cuttings, grafting, seeds and division of the root system.

If you want to try to dissolve rhododendron using seeds, then they are sown in a substrate in pots, sprinkled with sand and covered with glass. Flowerpots put in a bright room and moisten the soil as it dries. When the seedlings grow, they must be transplanted into a larger container. During the first year of life, small plants need to be maintained only in greenhouse conditions.

For propagation by cuttings, it is necessary to cut shoots 5-8 centimeters long. From the bottom edge you need to remove the leaves and put the branches for 15 hours in a solution to stimulate growth (this tool is sold in specialized stores). Then the prepared cuttings are planted in a sand-peat mixture (1: 3) and covered with glass or polyethylene. Shoots are grown at 8-12 degrees. In the spring of cuttings transplanted in open ground.

It is not easy to propagate a plant with a vaccine, so amateur gardeners rarely use this method. But to get a new bush by dividing the roots of a large plant is possible. But it should be understood that this method is traumatic for the bush.

Pruning plants

Does rhododendron need pruning? As a rule, the plant grows evenly and forms a lush, regular-shaped shrub with flowers. If you are a supporter of bulky plants, then you should not even think about pruning. However, from time to time the shrub needs to be thinned or rejuvenated. In such cases, pruning produced in early spring, you need to have time to do it before the start of sap flow. Strong shoots are pruned, and cut areas are treated with resin or garden pitch. In a month you will notice that the renewal process has begun: dormant buds will wake up and young twigs will start to grow.

Even for the best varieties of rhododendrons is characterized by uneven flowering. If this year the plant has pleased you with lush flowering, then surely next year you should not expect the same number of flowers. In order to partially affect this situation, you can immediately remove all the buds from the bush after flowering. Such a simple way will allow the plant to save strength and send them to the enhanced formation of buds for the next year.

Diseases and pests

Choosing rhododendron for the Moscow region (varieties are given in the article), it is worth remembering that it, like any other plant, is prone to disease. The most common pests that attack the bushes are snails, spider mites, scale insects, weevils, bugs, worms, flies. To combat them, use chemicals that can be purchased at gardening stores.

The most dangerous diseases are fungal infections - rust, spotting. To get rid of them, the plant is treated with blue vitriol. And for preventive purposes, bushes should be treated Bordeaux liquid at least twice a year - in early spring and late autumn.

Preparing for the winter

Experienced gardeners recommend covering rhododendrons for the winter, especially when it comes to the suburbs. How to do this, you decide. Suit a variety of ways. As a possible option, you can put on the beds with rhododendron arcs, which with the onset of cold weather, can be covered with non-woven material, and during frosts and film. The edges of such a greenhouse are covered with earth so that the cold does not go under the fiber. This simple way to help protect the plant from freezing.

Instead of epilogue

Of course, it is not so easy to grow beautiful exotic plants on the site. The best rhododendrons for the Moscow region are those that are cold-resistant. They are well acclimatized in our latitudes, but require careful maintenance. By following all the rules and recommendations, you can get a beautiful, richly flowering plant that will delight you for years. Although the cultivation of rhododendrons in the Moscow region is fraught with difficulties, the result is worth it, a year after planting an exotic plant, it can please you with the first flowering, the abundance of which will depend on your care.

The nuances of growing rhododendrons in the suburbs

Growing rosewood in the Middle band has a number of subtleties. In culture, there are a large number of species, but not all can withstand the harsh climate of the Moscow region - significant changes in daily and seasonal temperatures, uneven precipitation, return frosts in the spring and the early onset of cold weather in the fall. In the area of ​​risk farming, to which the Moscow region is attributed due to climatic conditions, a competent approach to the cultivation of plants is required, starting with the correct selection of saplings of the Asian representative.

Rhododendron Ledebour

He is a maral - semi-evergreen shrub, whose height varies from half a meter to two. Small glossy leaves, covered with the edge, winter on the shoots, and are updated after flowering, occurring twice during the growing season - in May and September. Asymmetrical pink bell-shaped flowers are collected in racemes. The view withstands the reduction of the thermometer to -32⁰C.

Rhododendron Daursky

Known as wild rosemary and looks very similar to the previous form, but the foliage falls after the arrival of autumn. Most attractive from mid-spring to mid-summer. The flowering phase lasts for 20 days, when spruce-pink bell-shaped flowers with a violet tinge bloom. Botanical species is much more resistant to frost than cultivars.

Rhododendron Katevbinsky

The height of the species with an average duration of 100 years can reach 4 m. Large shiny leaves up to 15 cm in length, painted in dark green color with prominent veins and pale underside, have an elliptical shape. It blooms in late spring or early summer with white or lilac flowers, sometimes interspersed with green. The most popular varieties are Album, Boursault, Grandiflorum, Nova Zembla, Alfred.

Rhododendron Smirnova

Evergreen shrub 1.5 m tall comes from Turkey. Large oblong plates of elliptical shape in length reach 15 cm, and in width - 4 cm. Purple-pink petals of flowers, gathered in a dense inflorescence, are covered with yellow specks. On the basis of the variety, cold-resistant varieties have been developed: Dorothy, Laika, Gabriel.

Rhododendron of Kashkar

Slow-growing inhabitant of Siberia and the Far East in half a meter in height is capable of forming impassable thickets. Evergreen foliage is very dense. Yellow flowers, collected in umbrella inflorescences, are noted at the beginning of the summer season. Resistant to frost at -26⁰C.

Important! In the gardens and flower beds, the species takes root very poorly.

Rhododendron Schlippbach

Beautiful deciduous variety with sprawling shoots up to 2 m high, covered with small leaf plates and large flowers in 8 cm. Fragrant pink or white flowers form inflorescences in early May.

Canadian Rhododendron

The shrub, not exceeding a meter, is from the North American region. Medium-sized greenish-blue sheets thickly cover shoots. Pink and purple flowers without odor are collected in corymbose inflorescences.

Japanese Rhododendron

Азиатский представитель используется в Средней полосе России как самый декоративный вид, сочетающий в себе неприхотливость и морозостойкость. Как правило, достигает полтора метра в высоту и отличается буйным цветением с конца весны, которое длится в течение месяца. Колокольчатые венчики цветков красного цвета с жёлтыми вкраплениями собраны в пышные соцветия.

Рододендрон короткоплодный

Evergreen shrub from Asia has the highest height of 6 m and large leathery leaf plates. The thyroid inflorescences consist of 15 flowers of pink or white color. Flowering occurs in July after the plant reaches the age of 18-20 years.

Characteristics of the optimal plant location:

  • A stretch of northern direction that is shaded during the day.
  • The lack of buildings, from the roofs of which the snow can fall on the plant.
  • Deep occurrence of groundwater.
  • No drafts that can cause a minimum amount of snow cover, acting as protection from frost.

Under natural conditions, rhododendrons often develop in the shade of trees, making it possible to plant a plant by analogy in a garden. But the neighboring trees should have a tap root system that goes deep - pine, apple, larch, pear, cherry, oak. If there is a birch, linden or alder with a fibrous root system at the same level as the rosewood, this can lead to the death of both plants due to lack of nutrition and space.

To ensure the normal growth of the shrub requires an acidity of 4.5-5.5. In the case of less acidity, a loose and light substrate of loam, sour peat and pine litter is used in equal parts for planting.

Attention! When replacing loam with clay, components such as humus, manure, sawdust, ash, and black soil are added to the soil mixture.

Landing will take place without difficulty, if you use the following algorithm:

  • A planting hole 60x60 with a depth of 40 cm is dug out on the prepared site.
  • The bottom is lined with a drainage layer of 20 cm of broken brick or expanded clay.
  • Part of the pit is filled with the substrate so that the root neck is at ground level.
  • A seedling with straightened roots is placed on the tamped soil mixture.
  • The hole is completely filled with the substrate, which at the end is compacted.
  • Pristvolny zone abundantly watered and mulched with peat, needles or leaf earth.
  • If necessary, install a temporary support.

Important! Rhododendron is planted throughout the growing season except for the flowering phase. But early spring is the optimal time.

Care in the Moscow region

When planting a rosewood in compliance with agrotechnical requirements, care will not take much time and effort.

Exotic shrubs require frequent, but not abundant watering with settled water, to soften which, a day before the procedure, several handfuls of peat are added. The soil should be soaked with water for 25 cm. A lack of moisture leads to the inhibition of the plant, in which there is wilted foliage losing luster. With the arrival of autumn, watering is reduced to a minimum, so that the bush stops active growth and begins to prepare for wintering.

Attention! In the Moscow region, a dry autumn is possible, in which watering is carried out in small portions.

Feeding rosewood held until the end of June twice a month. The shrub is fertilized with mineral complexes purchased in specialized stores according to the instructions, on the package or with superphosphate and nitroammophoska with a spread rate of 50 g per 1 m2.

Important! Fertilization is not allowed from the beginning of July, otherwise the plant will increase the green mass instead of preparing for winter.

How to prune rhododendron?

Rhododendron practically does not need pruning, forming the correct crown on its own. The plant is trimmed for sanitary and rejuvenating purposes before the juice begins to move: damaged shoots are removed and half of branches are reduced to 40 cm to rejuvenate. If you want to have a shrub with a more compact crown, corrective cutting is done after flowering.

Features of care in the autumn, preparation for winter

Caring for rhododendron in the fall is to carry out activities to protect the shoots from freezing during severe frosts. When the first frosts of the branch pass, between which the lapnik is placed, they are pulled together with a string. The shrub wraps a covering material, which is removed in the spring after the snow melts.

Plant propagation

Cultivation of rhododendrons is possible both from seeds and using a vegetative propagation method.

  • Seed method. In the conditions of severe winters, the generative method of breeding is laborious, unproductive and is used extremely rarely.
  • Cuttings. It is also quite a complex technique in which rooting of cuttings cut from semi-lignified shoots occurs within 4 months in greenhouse conditions. In open ground, seedlings obtained in this way are planted only after 2 years.
  • Reproduction by layering. Ideal for rosewood. With the arrival of spring, young shoots are buried in the grooves up to 15 cm deep, and the top is tied up vertically. In the fall or next spring, the layers are separated and transplanted to a permanent place.

So, with the observance of agrotechnical measures for planting and care, an exotic shrub is able to fully develop in the climatic conditions of the Moscow region and give a lot of positive to its owners.

The origin and description of rhododendron

Rhododendron belongs to the shrub of heather plant family. Sometimes a plant can grow to the size of a tree. From Greek, the name of the plant comes from two words: Rodon, meaning rose, and Dendron, which means tree. As a result, the name “rose tree” is formed. Delicate buds of this exotic bush are very similar to rosebuds.

Under natural conditions, rhododendron is common in many parts of the world, but most of them grow in the Northern Hemisphere - in southern China, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas and North America. Most often, this plant can be found in the coastal zone of oceans, seas and rivers, on the northern slopes of the mountains and in the penumbra of underbrush.

The appearance of the plant may vary depending on the place of their distribution in natural environment. Bushes are common in the valleys and undergrowths, creeping species of rhododendron grow on the slopes of the mountains, but on the coastal open areas sometimes there are real giants whose height can reach 25 meters. Flowers of plants differ in the shape of the corolla, color of petals and size. There are even trees in which the inflorescences are larger than 20 cm.

Leaf cover rhododendron can be annual, biennial, and perennial, in other words deciduous or evergreen. The size and shape may vary and plate. They are petiole and sedentary, with serrate or solid edges. The leaves are mostly oval in shape, with a slight down on the surface.

The flowering of rhododendron is especially striking in its magnificence. Flowers, gathered in shields or large brushes, decorated with a slightly asymmetrical halo. Even to a very experienced gardener, there is always a copy of a plant that fully satisfies his wishes regarding the coloring of flowers. When the period of abundant flowering is over, multi-seeded boxes with five leaves begin to tie. Seeds like sticks ripen inside.

The growth of the fibrous root system is slowIt lies in the surface layers of the soil. Reproduction can be done as a vegetative (layering, grafting, division of rhizomes), and the generative (seed) method. The period of life of rhododendron over 20 years.

Varieties of Moscow rhododendrons

The beautiful appearance and the huge variety of rhododendron forms could not fail to attract the attention of breeders who thought about the possibility of growing this exotic plant in central Russia, including in the Moscow region. The development of scientists still at the beginning of the ⅩⅨ century allowed to get more than 3 thousand varieties. Given that in the Moscow region a rose tree can suffer from significant fluctuations in day and night temperatures, it is necessary to pay great attention to the choice of frost-resistant varieties of this plant.

In ornamental gardening in areas with a temperate continental climate, the following are more often used. Rhododendron varieties:

  • Ledebura (maral). This variety grows in the Altai, in the forests of Siberia and in Mongolia. The appearance is a bush, upright, semi-evergreen, 50–200 cm high. Small, shiny leaves are covered with small scales. The leaves for the winter remain on the bush, and fall off after the end of the flowering of the plant, which occurs in March and repeats in September. The corollas have a pink-purple color and the shape of a bell. Flowers with pink long stamens - asymmetrical. Able to withstand temperatures as low as minus 32.
  • Daursky. The second name is wild rosemary. In appearance, this variety is very difficult to distinguish from the maral. With the onset of autumn the leaves fall. Flowering lasts for 20 days. The corollas are light pink with violet tint; they have a bell-shaped funnel shape and are 2–4 cm in size. In this frost-resistant variety, seeds have very good germination.
  • Smirnova. It has an evergreen shrub 1–1.5 m tall. The leaves of an ellipse-shaped plant are large, elongated, shiny above, and have a dense white fluff below. Width is 2.5–4 cm, and length is 10–15 cm. Dense inflorescence, with funnel corolla, purple-pink shade, up to 7 cm in size. Inside is a bare pistil and 10 stamens with fuzz. On the flower petals there are yellow blotches. In vivo grows in Turkey.
  • Katevbinsky. This variety is the basis of most evergreen frost-resistant hybrids. His homeland is North America. The plant is 2–4 meters tall, has a spreading crown. The leaves are elliptical, large, 10–15 cm long, 3–5 cm wide. The lower part of the leaf is pale, and the upper is glossy, dark green, with well-marked veins. Bell-shaped beaters have a white or lilac shade, with yellow-green specks. The flower is odorless, measuring 5–6 cm. Life time is about 100 years.
  • Kashkar (rhododendron is golden). This variety can form impassable thickets in habitats in the Far East or Siberia. Large umbrellas form yellow flowers of a plant measuring 4–5 cm. Flowering occurs at the beginning of the summer period. The leaves are small, dense, evergreen. Golden rhododendron grows very slowly, has a frost resistance of -26 ℃.
  • Canadian. The bush is short, compact, 0.7–0.9 m high. The distribution area is the eastern part of North America. It has leaves of small size, greenish-blue shade. Flowers create small shields of 3–7 pieces. Petals are pink and purple, odorless.
  • Slippenbach. This pink tree has a deciduous sprawling crown, with leaves of medium size and 1.5–1.8 m in height. The flowers are large with a fragrant odor, 7–8 cm in diameter. The plant blooms in early May, white or pink.
  • Shortly fetal. Evergreen tree growth of 4-6 meters. Leaves dense, leathery, large. The flowers are collected in the guards of an umbrella-shaped form of 12-15 pieces. Flowering begins in the middle of the summer season. The distribution range is Kuril Islands, Asia.
  • Japanese. This variety is growing in Southeast Asia. In Russia, it is considered the most unpretentious, decorative and frost-resistant rhododendron. Blooms profusely for 3-4 weeks at the end of May. The corollas are collected in lush inflorescences and reach a size of 6–8 cm, painted in red or salmon tones with a yellowish spot. The crown is strongly tapered, about 1.5 meters high.

Choosing a landing site

To minimize the stress for this exotic plant will allow planting it in a place similar to the conditions of growth in nature. You can plant a plant at any time of the year, excluding the flowering period. However, it is best to do this in the spring.

In the wild, rhododendron grows under the shadow of many other trees, therefore, in the garden plot such a neighborhood would be useful. The rose tree next to the apple, pear, pine, larch, oak, and cherry trees will feel good. But next to the birch, maple, elm or linden tree it is better not to plant rhododendron, because the root system of these trees is similar in structure and lies in the soil at the same level, which can disrupt the nutritional balance of all plants.

The best place is the north side of the garden, with a shaded area in the daytime. An important condition for a comfortable living of the plant is the creation of good soil drainage.

When planting a pink tree near the wall of a building, must be excluded any possibility of hitting the bush from the roof.

Soil characteristics

For the health and good development of this exotic plant requires the creation of an acidic environment in the range of 4.5-5.5 units. Therefore, if the composition of the soil does not meet these requirements, it should be acidified slightly. This is done by introducing sulphate fertilizers, high peat or special heather soil into the soil.

Planting technology

Planting bushes is desirable produce on high earthen hills or make good drainage of the landing site, since the root system of rhododendron is afraid of stagnant water. The surface type of the root system does not imply its penetration during planting, therefore the landing hole is made shallow.

Landing scheme:

  • We dig a landing hole with a size of 60 × 60 cm and a depth of 40 cm.
  • At the bottom of the pit lay the drainage layer.
  • We fill up the hole, prepared by the substrate, to the level when the root neck of the plant equals the level of the soil.
  • We condense the substrate and place the seedling in the hole, while carefully, in order to avoid damage, we straighten its root system.
  • Fill the hole completely with the substrate and seal it with your hand.
  • We pour water abundantly on the seedling and mulch the tree trunk with needles, peat or oak leaves.
  • If necessary, install additional temporary support and fasten a sapling to it.

To stimulate the fastest development of the root system and make the rooting of the plant more successful, you can remove some of the excess inflorescences.

Care of rhododendron in the Moscow region

The process of caring for a little rose tree different from care With many other plants in your garden:

Young rosewood seedlings need daily watering in the morning or evening. It is considered optimal to add up to five liters of water to the soil. Moreover, it is desirable to use rainwater or river water, or separated water. As the age of the plant increases, you can water it once every two days, but the volume needs to be increased to 10 liters. During the flowering of the tree, it must also be additionally sprayed, and water for watering add half a teaspoon of citric acid.

So that the bush did not start producing side shoots and managed to prepare for winter, at the end of August, watering is best reduced to a minimum.

The main component of quality care for an exotic plant is feeding its roots. It is fertilizer that allows growing exotic trees in difficult climatic conditions.

It is necessary to carry out the feeding process every two weeks until the end of the summer. It is for heather plants for sale there are many complexes with mineral fertilizers. Maintaining the normal acidity of the soil, is considered the main condition for efficient plant growth. To stop dressing you need in early September to avoid the growth of new shoots and the normal preparation of the tree for winter.

Due to the fact that the exotic bush itself forms the correct form of the crown, pruning he needs mainly rejuvenating or sanitary. Early spring is held sanitary pruningduring which all injured during the winter shoots are removed.

But for the rejuvenating pruning you need to cut half of the shoots at a height of 40 cm. The next year, the other half of the shoots are removed.

Corrective care, which is carried out to give the bush a compact look, should be done after flowering plants.

Shelter for the winter

Cold winters are characteristic of the Moscow region. therefore need to secure exotic plant from freezing, by making a special shelter. To do this, after the onset of the first frost between the branches of the bush have the legs of coniferous trees, and squeeze them with string. And on top of the crown of the bush put a special covering material for trees. It is necessary to remove the winter shelter in early spring when the snow has completely melted.

Evergreen and deciduous rhododendrons can be an ornament to any backyard, even in the harsh climatic conditions of the Moscow region. With a little effort to create special, high-quality conditions for growing an exotic plant, you will be rewarded every year with the beauty of their flowering.

How to prepare a sapling for planting

To further the rhododendrons did not cause trouble, it is important to properly prepare them for planting. To do this, one day before disembarking, I grow one of the growth stimulators in a bucket or make a solution of sodium humate. I put the plant pot in it so that it is completely in the water. So that the pot does not pop up, I put small stones on it. Thanks to this technique, the seedling is fed with water and will receive an adequate supply of moisture until its rooting.

As a rule, the roots of rhododendrons tightly entangle an earthy clod, which is saturated with fertilizers. Если вытащить растение из горшка и сразу же высадить, скорее всего, кори не захотят покинуть горшечный корм и растение вымерзнет зимой, так и не укоренившись.

Чтобы добиться стопроцентной приживаемости, есть одна хитрость: нужно при помощи тяпочки буквально разодрать корни, как следует, нарушив земляной ком не только с боков, но и снизу.

После того, как корни будут свисать из горшка, еще раз обмакиваю их в этот же питательный раствор, и высаживаю.

Some companies like to add special granules of yellow or blue color to the soil to seedlings, they have to be chosen manually. They are designed to provide artificial nutrition, to give an attractive appearance when sold, and at the end of their action the plant dies.

Therefore, it is so important to get rid of them when they are planted so that the plant will become accustomed to natural conditions, and not to artificial nutrition. In general, the choice and purchase of container ornamental plants must be approached thoughtfully, so as not to be deceived and to acquire high-quality seedling.

If the rhododendrons at the time of planting have buds, they must be carefully removed. Plants in the Moscow region form large peduncles, up to 8 -12 inflorescences on each stem. Forces, respectively, to bloom takes a lot, so you should not tempt the fate of the seedling and make it bloom, it is better to cut the buds, sending all the forces to rooting.

Where to plant rhododendron

Choosing a place for planting, you need to keep in mind that planted next to each other, and not planted on a single plant throughout the garden, rhododendrons in the Moscow region have a better chance for successful wintering. Shelter will be common, and therefore warmer and more simple in construction.

For deciduous rhododendrons, landing on the sun is desirable. Evergreen and semi-evergreen rhododendrons should be planted in partial shade, ideally - it should be a sparse shadow, in the full shadow of flowering will not be. In my garden evergreen rhododendrons from the sun from the south are blocked by a spreading hawthorn bush. Other plantings on the south side of the sun are blocked by a fence and an ornamental apple tree. When planting in the shade of trees you need to maintain a distance of not less than 1.5-2 m from the trunk.

Soil for rhododendron planting

But for the preparation of the soil, all three groups - evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous rhododendrons - reiterate similar requirements. Well, if there is an opportunity to bring high-moor peat, but the usual that is on the site will do. It is advisable to take peat from the lowest places on the plot, if you got a cottage on peatlands, like me.

For planting, I knead the soil in a wheelbarrow, add 2 buckets of peat and compost, 2 tbsp. l Kemira or complex mineral fertilizer, 1 tbsp. l superphosphate. For full growth, additional ingredients are also needed: pine litter with a small amount of cones, river sand and sphagnum moss (it can be cut into pieces with scissors). Instead of river sand, you can add sand from a pine forest.

I collect such “forest” supplements once a year when the mushroom season begins. If there is a garden shredder, it is a good solution to recycle pine cones and add them to the soil.

In the presence of a special fertilizer for rhododendrons, it is also added to the soil during preparation, but this is not necessary.

What soil does not like rhododendron

  1. Sandy and clay soils are not suitable for planting rhododendrons even when peat is added - after a few years there will be no trace of it.
  2. Neither spruce cones nor spruce residues are suitable for rhododendrons. Also banned and adding ash - this will make the soil neutral, which does not like plants.

Pit for planting rhododendrons

Rhododendrons have a superficial root system, therefore there is no need for bulk planting pits, it is enough to have a size of 30 * 30 * 30 cm. A layer of spruce cones, for example, or a layer of sand can be put at the bottom of the pit. Usually I add a layer of sand over the cones, then fill it with the prepared soil mixture.

How to plant rhododendron

I arrange a sapling of rhododendron so that the earthy bed is ¼ above ground level. Then I wrap plastic tape around it and form a circle around it. When planting a sapling, I pour half a bucket of water into a hole and only then fall asleep with earth.

Care of rhododendron after planting

After landing for two weeks, rhododendrons are desirable to pritenit. To do this, I put the arcs and fix the non-wrap only from the south side, it is desirable to leave the plants ajar from the north for air access.

Neither in the year of planting, nor the next year the plant will not bloom or endow with scarce flowering, but in subsequent years will thank in full.

Watering and spraying rhododendrons

Evergreen and semi-evergreen rhododendrons need high humidity, they will be grateful for planting near an artificial pond with a fountain or at a reservoir. If this is not possible, it is advisable to spray the plants with water using a sprayer or spray hose as often as possible, especially in hot weather. When using tap water, you need to be careful, the first seconds may be hot water, especially if the hose is in the sun, so you need to drain it in order not to burn the plants. It is convenient not only to drench the plants from the hose, but also the nearest trees and paths to create additional moisture.

Do not spray rhododendrons during the flowering period!

As an alternative to spraying, I arrange old, but not leaky, pots and wide containers of water between plantings. I change the water periodically so that mosquitoes do not breed. In the heat I water rhododendrons once a week

To improve the rhododendron's winter hardiness, I spend very high water recharge irrigation. From mid-September to the first daytime sub-zero temperatures, abundant watering is needed once a week. This concerns evergreen rhododendrons - they need a significant supply of moisture to keep the leaves hibernating and resist frost.

Feed the rhododendrons

When growing rhododendrons, seasonal supplements are not required, as for other plants. Enough spring mulching with the same soil mixture that was prepared during planting. As a foliar application, I use a stimulant solution - I spray plants with them after taking shelters and before flowering. At the end of August or in the first decade of September, I water with a solution of superphosphate for better aging of new shoots.

Infusion of grass as a fertilizer for rhododendrons is not allowed!

Origin, natural habitat conditions

Rhododendrons - the name of the genus, which includes many types of deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen shrubs and trees.

To create the most favorable environment for development, it is worth remembering about their habitat. The geography of distribution is quite wide. These amazing shrubs prefer places with high humidity - the coast of the seas, oceans, large rivers. You can meet them on semi-shaded areas or on the northern slopes of the mountains. The soil in the areas of growth has an acidic environment, is rich in nutrients and well passes moisture.

Varieties for Central Russia

For planting in the suburbs you need to choose only frost-resistant varieties. Here are some of them.

    • Rhododendron, further r. Ledebura,
    • R. Katevbinsky and his hybrids,
    • R. Smirnova and hybrids,
    • R. Short-fruited,
    • R. The largest
    • R. Golden,
    • R. Canadian,
    • R. Slippenbach,
    • R. Vasey,
    • R. Bukhansky,
    • R. Adhesive,
    • R. Pink.
Varieties for central Russia. Rhododendron pink
    And:
  • R. Costerianum,
  • R. Japanese,
  • R. Kamchatka,
  • R. yellow,
  • R. Alpine (dwarf).

Rules and landing site

The most destructive natural factors for rhododendrons are wind and excess sun. Therefore, for planting choose a protected place on the north or north-east side of the house or fence, which will be shaded from the scorching sun. Exotics suffer not only from the summer, but also from the early spring sunlight.

The rhododendron buds, which were formed back in August, often burn in the spring sun, which is already quite warm in late February. As a result, the bush blooms only on the north side and where it was covered with snow.

To avoid this, rhododendron needs care. In early spring it is necessary to shade with shields from the southern and western sides. This is done with the help of a priming material, which is securely fastened to stakes driven into the ground, 1.5 times higher than rhododendron. Below and above necessarily leave a gap for ventilation. For shading use materials at hand: lutrasil (density 60g per m 2) or spunbond, burlap (pull with a double layer).

Shading young shoots of rhododendron

Rhododendron can be planted near other trees, remembering that the bad neighbors for them are trees with a shallow root system. The battle for moisture and nutrients will end the death of your pets. These include spruce, chestnut, linden, birch, maple. But the neighborhood of pine, oak, fruit trees is quite acceptable. Tree crowns should not shade low-growing shrubs too much.

As for the root comod rhododendron, it is compact, located close to the surface, so they tolerate transplantation, regardless of age.

Particular attention should be paid to the soil in which the bushes will be planted. As mentioned above, they are suitable loose soil with an acidic environment, good removal of excess moisture. Drying is also unacceptable. It is recommended to prepare such a mixture of earth: sour, red-colored peat with pH = 4.5 - 5.5, loam and pine needles in proportions 2: 3: 1. All components are important and necessary, because peat provides the necessary acidity and nutrition, the loam does not allow the earth to dry out excessively, and pine needles make it loose and breathable.

The problem with the leaves of rhododendron with low acidity of the soil

Soil acidity is one of the most important conditions for good shrub growth. Before planting a rhododendron in a selected place, samples of the substrate are taken for its determination. Then they are mixed, and one Art. spoon put in a glass dish. Distilled water is added here (four times the amount). Everything is thoroughly mixed and left for a couple of hours, sometimes shaking the mixture. Then it moistened indicator paper and compare the color of the paper with the color of the scale. Thus, it is easy and simple at home to determine the pH.

If you find out that the acidity of the soil is insufficient, it can be improved in various ways:

  • For example, the addition of sphagnum peat from high bogs (its pH is 3.6-4.0), heather land.
  • You can also add chemicals such as aluminum sulphate A12(SO4)3 (150 g per 1 m 2 of soil), concentrated sulfuric acid (5 ml per 10 l of water). Only it is necessary to remember that it is necessary to add acid to water, and not vice versa. And it must be done very carefully. A mixture of rhododendrons watered during the growing season several times. This will help maintain the pH of the soil.
  • Physiologically acidic fertilizers, such as potassium sulfate (Silvinit, Cainit, Kalimagnesia, Kalimag), superphosphate (Simple superphosphate, Dual superphosphate, Phosphoritic flour), ammonium sulphate, are also a good way to maintain soil pH.

Where better to plant rhododendron

To remove excess moisture rhododendron is better to plant on high ground, so that in spring, the root of the neck does not get wet because of the melt water. To prevent the hill from spreading out, you can enclose it with stones, which, moreover, will harmoniously fit into the composition.

  • dig a hole about 60x60 cm in size and 40 cm deep,
  • fill it with the components of the substrate
  • mix thoroughly
  • tamped (this volume will require about 120 liters of the finished earth mixture, that is, 40 liters of peat, loam and needles each),
  • dig a hole under the size of the root ball and plant the plant in the ground (while making sure that the root base is not buried in the ground),
  • the soil around is necessarily mulched with peat or needles, without falling asleep to its base.

Young specimens with a still undeveloped root system may be planted in a smaller pit — 40x40cm and 30cm deep. The amount of substrate for it - 25 liters. As the roots grow, the pit can be increased in width by adding fresh earthy mixture.

It is better to plant a small tree in a protected, shaded corner of the garden, and only 1-2 years old to plant in a permanent place.

Mulching

Rhododendron care includes annual mulching around the bushes. Cover the beds with synthetic or organic material in order to protect plants from poor environmental conditions and enrich the soil.

  • to lay mulch preferably after rain,
  • Before this, the surface of the soil is recommended to be pierced so that it does not condense,
  • a layer of mulch is from 4 to 9 centimeters,
  • Organic mulch is left in the garden for the whole winter.

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