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Spring Flowerers - Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons have a lot to offer, and this applies to both their quality and quantity. They’re widely recognised as one of the showiest groups of spring flowering shrubs, with April through June often hosting colourful displays of lilac, pink, yellow, red and purple. There’s also an immense range of options to pick from, with over 1,000 species held within the genus.

They’re not too picky, preferring partial shade and a sheltered site. In sufficiently moist (though well drained and aerated) soil, these evergreen shrubs will bring life to your garden throughout the year. It bears to be said that they cannot tolerate alkaline or chalk soils, however. We’re currently stocking a selection of Rhododendron hybrids species in a variety of sizes, available in 7.5 to 40 litre pots. There’s a lot to choose from, so it’s worth taking the time to outline a few options which might be right for your planting goals.

If you’ve got the space to support them, a vigorous variety could grow as high as 1.8-2m. Roseum Elegans produces large, delicate, pink and purple flowers in the spring, whereas Albert Schweitzer yields light red tubular flowers contrasted with deep green foliage.

Where space is at a premium we often recommend more compact varieties, particularly Yakushimanum hybrids (or Yaks!). They only reach an ultimate height of 0.9-1.2m, with plump giving way to a wide variety of coloured flowers (depending on the species), along with downy new growth on the leaves. Their convenience and colour has made them a favourite of compact gardeners since their initial introduction to the Chelsea flower show in 1947.

Finding a use for them isn’t difficult. They prosper in generally shady corners where other shrubs might struggle, offering spring interest and an evergreen backdrop to the rest of your yearly display. Rhododendrons are ideal for filling out a mixed border, and function well as evergreen screening. They can be grouped for varied colour, and the more compact varieties (such as Yaks) are great for placement in pots and rockeries.

As ever, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or queries about buying and planting. Rhododendrons can bring a lot to your garden, and as one of the UK’s leading tree suppliers, we’re more than happy to help out.

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