How to water the Rhododendron

Rhododendron needs moisture in the soil especially if the plant is still young. For this reason watering must be done regularly, but not excessively. In fact, it is unfortunately always possible that after watering stagnations of water form which ruin the plant or even cause the roots to rot. Therefore, it is recommended to water and wait until the soil is completely dry before carrying out another watering. In the summer months it is good to increase the number of waterings, while in the colder months such as winter and autumn, but also spring, it is the rain itself that replaces the waterings, as it becomes sufficient to keep the soil rather humid. . For the rhododendron which in winter is found inside the home it is advisable to water it occasionally. Another useful advice is to use water that is not too calcareous, so prefer decalcified or even rain water.

How to grow the Rhododendron

To cultivate rhododendron in the best way it is good to use the cutting method that is obtained by taking pieces of branches from the previous year around June. To cut the branch you need a sharp and sterilized shears. Immerse the cutting in water and hormones to help the birth of the roots, then place the cutting in a pot that has a soil of peat and sand at the base. Keep it out of the sun, but keep the humidity needed for roots to grow. Then transfer the seedling into a pot or into the ground. The plant that will develop will be identical to the original plant. You could also grow a rhododendron using the seed, but this procedure is not recommended as the characteristics obtained could be very different from those desired. Despite the various care it needs, the rhododendron looks like a very elegant plant; it should be repotted every two years by replacing the pot and adding peat to the soil.

Fertilization of the Rhododendron

As for the fertilization of rhododendron it is recommended to add peat to the soil to increase the organic substances and favor the acid pH. In the period from April to October, the rhododendron must receive a particular fertilizer as fertilizer for those plants that are acidophilic. If the fertilizer is liquid it is advisable to dilute it in the water that will be used to water the plant. The same fertilizer must be used every three weeks, while if you opt for granular fertilizers, which release the substances slowly, you must use them every four months or so. For the preferred soil of the rhododendron it is good to specify that it loves an acidic land rich in fertile and drained substances. So in the event that the rhododendron is planted in alkaline soil it is necessary to insert acid soil in the earth; the same is true for potted rhododendron.

Rhododendron exposure and diseases

Rhododendron should not be exposed to direct sunlight which could damage the leaves. Consequently it is recommended to place the plant in an area with moderate light. In winter it is better to put the plant in a sheltered place, even if there are some species of rhododendron that resist the cold. These types of rhododendron have to stay at a very low temperature in order to flower the following year. It is a peculiarity that takes the name of vernalization, but to protect the roots it is good to place dry leaves or straw on the ground. Avoid drafts and drafts of cold air in the house, while if the rhododendron is placed outside it is better to prefer an area without wind. The rhododendron is attacked by insects, caterpillars, butterflies, beetles and aphids, but also by mites. To avoid all these threats, pesticides must be used. Furthermore, the rhododendron can also be affected by diseases such as gray mold, root rot or fungi, to be defeated with specific fungicides.

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