Key is to regularly water newly-planted plants, at least bimonthly for two months. It is also important to ensure you choose a location where your plant has enough space, which you can calculate from a variety's eventual height and spread.
Dig a hole twice the radius of the rootball. Before planting, drench the rootball. Place the pot in the hole, ensuring it sits no lower than an inch below ground.
Fill the hole with a mix of ericaceous compost and garden soil, and add ericaceous fertiliser and mycorrhizal fungi. Do not compress the soil. Give your plant a good watering. Add mulch on top whether bark and wood chippings, compost, manure, leaf-mould and stones, but be sure organic materials come from acidic sources such as conifers. Make sure mulch doesn't touch the stem.
Rhododendron plants are harder to grow than other popular genera. Below we address some common queries:
- Position: rhododendron thrive in dappled shade and a few hours sunlight a day will suffice. If you are to plant in full sun, be sure to apply mulch, which will protect its delicate roots from strong sunlight.
- Soil Types: rhododendron are suited to acidic soils below 5.5pH. pHs above this will reduce the amount of nutrients a plant can absorb. You can increase the acidity of your soil by watering with rainwater and using pine needles, conifer bark and ericaceous compost as mulch. It is important to avoid waterlogged soils, which starve a plant of oxygen, which plays a key role in photosynthesis, cause its roots to rot and create the perfect environment for many diseases.
- Planting In Pots: planting in pots is recommended as it can be difficult to maintain acidity in garden soil. Using ericaceous compost (and ericaceous fertiliser) is essential, but it may need replacing once in while. Our nurserymen and women change the soil annually for maximum blooms.
- Hardiness: rhododendron species can mostly be found in temperate regions, and are concentrated in the Himalayas, and are therefore well suited to the UK's climate.