Give Your Garden Bright Spring Color
Rhododendron growing tips
Ongoing breeding has generated a host of super-hardy cultivars that thrive in regions as chilly as Zone 3. Growing rhodies requires attention to detail, but they pay gardeners back with masses of roselike spring flowers. Make sure your soil is acidic, porous and well-drained, says Charles Tubesing, chief horticulturist at Holden Arboretum.
Many rhododendrons grow well in full sun; all thrive in partial shade produced by tall trees. If your yard has slow-draining clay soil, plant rhododendrons in raised beds filled with 60 percent sand, 30 percent soil and 10 percent acidic organic matter.
With shallow, fine roots, these evergreen shrubs need about 1 inch of water a week and rarely demand fertilizer.
Pictured: Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'.