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How to grow

Most Rhododendrons which are hardy in the UK grow best in light shade or full sun in a sheltered position.

Rhododendrons are ericaceous plants, meaning they prefer acid soils with a pH of roughly 4.5-6. For those without acidic soils, rhododendrons can be grown in a raised bed or containers filled with John Innes ericaceous loam-based compost. 

In additional they prefer well-drained soils high in organic material - so avoid heavy clay soils and mulch with leaf mould or pine needles (or if in a woodland border, don't rake up the leaves in autumn).

Rhododendrons should be planted either in early spring or early autumn.  There is no need to add anything to planting holes just make sure that theRhododendronis planted to the same depth as it is in the container. They are easily damaged or killed by planting too deeply, if in doubt leave the top of the root ball a few centimetres above the surface of the ground. 

Once planted, keep the plant weed free (easily achieved by mulching with leaf mould or shredded bark) and water through any dry periods in the first year.

After that Rhododendrons can be left more or less to their own devices with no regular pruning required.

 

Rhododendrons at Ness

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