Small is Beautiful
Bring colour into your garden as early as possible with small growing rhododendrons. There is no need to worry about these plants growing too big they are lovely mannered plants, perfect for even the smallest gardens.
The ancestry of the mountain growing, Northern American and Himalayan, alpine dwarf rhododendrons of many of them means they are tough and resilient. They flower early, from April onwards, a trait from their alpine past to take advantage of the short mountain growing season. The smaller the leaves, the closer the variety is to this alpine heritage but some of the hardiest varieties can be larger leaved. They are a fascinating group.
They can grow happily at the front of borders or in rockeries in the ground or pot them into a nice pot and they will be very happy for many years
We all know that Rhododendrons are fabulous for their dramatic flower colour but did you know that some have great foliage colour too. Moser's Maroon is a perfect example. The flowers are a memorable shade of rich, slightly translucent ruby in themselves but the new foliage is an attraction in its own right.
This foliage stays the same amazing red all summer and through autumn and into winter. The effect is more pronounced when it is grown in a sheltered spot in the garden and given a little shade. Light shade is great for all rhododendrons as the flowers last longer out of the harsh glare of the sun. Try using it to cover ugly features like drainpipes and utility boxes round the house.
How to Plant in a Pot
The great news about Rhododendrons, Camellias and Azaleas is that they are so adaptable that they grow really well in pots and containers. Sometimes we grow them there because we have the wrong soil, sometimes just because we want colour in pots.
So how do you go about it?
First, look at the size of your plant and choose a pot where the measurement across the top is about 10-20cm smaller than the width of the plant branches. This stops the compost getting too wet in rainy weather.