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Ericaceae

Rhododendron

roe-doe-DEN-dron Audio
Rhododendron schlippenbachii

Plants in this massive genus are grown mainly for their showy (sometimes fragrant) flowers, which come in numerous shapes, sizes, colors, and bloom times. The leaves, while not especially showy, offer some early or late season color and are evergreen in some species.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsGenerally dark, lance-shaped leaves, some with fine hairs, some with bronze coloring, and some evergreen. Single or clusters of tubular flowers in many colors. Size ranges from low mat-forming shrubs to small trees.

CareGrow in moist, fertile, humus-rich acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5) in dappled shade. Plant shallow, as plants are surface rooted and like a mulch covering.

PropagationRoot semi-ripe cuttings in late summer or autumn. Layer in autumn.

ProblemsVine weevil, whitefly, leafhoppers, lacebugs, scale, caterpillars, aphids. Powdery mildew, rust, bud blast, leaf gall, petal blight, root rot, and chlorosis (due to insufficient soil acid).

Species and cultivars

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Winter Interest

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