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A Guide To Growing Rhododendrons

Rhododendron garden with wooden bench.


The Rhododendron is a low maintenance flower that adds interest and beauty to your garden. All this flower needs is regular watering, especially during the hot summer months, to keep it in healthy condition. Read on for tips on how to look after your Rhododendron so it thrives year after year. 

How To Plant A Rhododendron 

Rhododendrons can be planted in the spring (March-April). Ideally, it should be planted in a shady area as this flower can struggle in hot and bright conditions; this flower tends to grow best when there is heavy rainfall, making it a perfect flower for British gardens! 

When planting, ensure that you test which soil you have. The Rhododendron is an acid loving plant and thrives best in acidic soil. If you have alkaline soil, grow them in containers so they have a fighting chance. If you're not sure which type of soil you have, check out our handy Gardening for Beginners guide for helpful tips on identifying your soil!

Don’t plant the Rhododendron too deeply as if planted too deep, the roots will rot. Keep the plant close to the surface and mix mulch within the soil. The mulch will lock moisture in, which is ideal as this flower depends on lots of moisture and water to survive. 

Looking After Your Rhododendron 

As previously mentioned, the Rhododendron is a low maintenance flower that only demands lots of watering to keep it healthy. Dry weather poses a risk to the Rhododendron as flower buds may fail to grow and then drop. Therefore, it is important that you water this plant regularly, especially during hotter conditions. 

Ideally, rainwater should be used to water the Rhododendron as rainwater is slightly acidic. Use a water butt to store rainwater so that you have a supply at the ready if needed. Tap water is sufficient but try to limit tap water use to only a few months in the summer. The reason for this is because tap water calcium content can be risky for the growth of the Rhododendron by reducing the acidity around the roots. 

Feed the Rhododendron using plant feed that is targeted for acid loving plants. Doff Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Feed is especially formulated to maintain healthy growth and large blooms. This feed can also act as a tonic which helps to prevent yellow leaves and keeps flowers vibrant. 

The Rhododendron doesn’t demand too much pruning. If you want to prune, then do this after the plant flowers in spring. 

Diseases and pests can affect the Rhododendron, such as mildew and vine weevil. Fungus Clear Ultra Ready to Use fights against mildew while encouraging plant growth while Provanto Ultimate Bug Killer is an insecticide ideal for flowers, roses, ornamental plants and shrubs. 

By regularly watering your rhododendron and keeping it well fed, this beautiful flower will grow healthy and beautiful in your garden.