Rhododendron care, the perfect bush

Few plants have as many followers as this ornamental shrub. And it is perfectly logical. We are talking about a perennial plant, with an extremely striking flowering and that is ideal for decorating any green space. If added we discover that the care of the rhododendron does not involve complications, there is no doubt: yes or yes we have to enjoy its incredible beauty. A decision, to include it among our plants, which we will not regret.

Before going into detail in the care of the rhododendron, let’s know a little more about it. Despite its popularity in our latitudes, it is not a native plant at all. Although it comes from the East, during the 19th century it enjoyed such fame that its cultivation became popular first in Europe and, later, in the United States. A detail that gives us an interesting clue: we are talking about one of the most versatile bushes.

Beyond its origins or species, there is a shared fact: the spectacular nature of its flowers. Some that grow in bouquets and that, in addition, are long-lasting. Enjoying them only happens by giving this beautiful bush what it needs. And here comes the good news: it doesn’t demand much.


Interestingly, the rhododendron is the second most cultivated flowering outdoor plant in the world after roses. But its flowering is not the only reason for it to be part of a good number of gardens. Both its perennial character and the intensity of its leaves make it the perfect option for those who do not want to give up nature, even in cold months.

There is another detail to take into account: the size that this bush reaches. If we strictly follow the care of the rhododendron, our plant can reach three meters. A more than interesting height, which we have to take into account when deciding where to plant it. But yes: it will not do it overnight. Rhododendron is a slow-growing shrub, so it will take its time to develop both tall and wide. A detail to take into account if we want it to act as a plant closure or embellishment of a wall.

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1. Indirect light, essential for rhododendrons

It is one of the most important rhododendron care. And it is that, despite the fact that it needs a good sun exposure, it does not tolerate its direct incidence. A compelling reason to think about planting this bush in semi-shade or, failing that, in a location where it receives sun in the hours of less intensity.

If you are considering how to plant garden shrubs like rhododendron, you have to take some time. And it is that knowing perfectly how the sun evolves in our green space is essential. Only then can we choose the ideal location according to your needs. And only in this way, too, will we ensure that our plant can develop.

2. Extreme temperatures, the enemies of this bush

The excess of cold or heat is something that we will have to seriously consider in the care of the rhododendron. Although it is not capricious with the weather and it is easy to adapt to them, we do have to be vigilant if we live in a place of extremes.

A protection blanket will allow us to keep our bush safe from frost. Get yours in our online store

But make no mistake. Rhododendron is part of the list of cold-resistant shrubs for the garden. However, you have to be careful and plant it sheltered from frost. If this is not possible, simply mulch it with mulch or dry leaves in the harsh winter months. Prevention is better than having to discover how to recover a plant after a frost.

3. Good drainage, another important detail for your health

In the same way that we will have to take time to decide where to plant it, dedicating a little more time to drainage is essential. Despite being a water-loving plant, the rhododendron does not tolerate excess water on its roots. What’s more: exposing it to that extra water will only cause the death of the plant.

Due to its importance, it is worth testing how the water is filtered in the space where we want to plant it. And, if necessary, we can always apply a layer of clay balls a few centimeters from the roots.

4. Acidic soil, one of the vital rhododendron care for its development

An even more important detail than the planting location. Only if we provide our bush with acidic soil will it be able to grow healthily and, more importantly, flourish. The rhododendron can only unfurl its flower clusters if it has the iron nutrients it needs to do so.

The application of fertilizer for acid plants will allow us to achieve the necessary pH in the soil. Discover its features here

If we do not know the composition of the soil, we can form the pH that this plant needs. It will suffice with regular contributions of natural fertilizer or mineral fertilizers.

5. Abundant humidity without flooding, one of the most delicate rhododendron cares

Of all rhododendron care, it is probably the most delicate. We are talking about a shrub that appreciates humidity and needs a good irrigation schedule but, at the same time, is sensitive to excess water. A detail that forces us to take extreme precautions.

During the winter months, we cannot forget about its irrigation. But beware we will have to avoid watering on frosty days. In the hot months, we will have to ensure that the roots of the rhododendron are well hydrated. If we live in a very hot climate, we may even have to water twice a day: before sunrise, and at sunset.

And if, despite knowing the care of the rhododendron, you have any questions, ask us!

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