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i inherited my garden about a year ago, and there are about 6 established rhodedendrons that are in flower at the moment and are beutiful. they are about 4 foot across, but the leaves are looking a bit pale and sickly. I'm not a huge fan of them, but dont want to destroy them, so will they trasplant into some large pots full of ericacious compost that i can dot about on paved areas?
You can get dwarf Rhodies that do ok in pots, but I doubt if it would work digging up established ones. Do you know if you have acid soil?
I don't know rhododendrons but other established shrubs would struggle to survive this. You'd have to trim back the roots to get them in a pot and you'd be left with thick stumps of root and none of those fine roots that absorb moisture and nutrients
It does sound like the'yre not happy in your soil, though you could try giving them an acid-type feed over this season. It really depends on the age and root run of the plants. I think you'd struggle to move well established Rhodos to pots, but if they're struggling now I think you've nothing to lose by trying.
I love Rhodos and grow mine in pots. Just to try and persuade you they're worth the effort, I have a 30-odd yrs old one which I've just re-potted over the years into bigger and bigger pots.While most (but not all) have a small flowering season, there's not much can compare.
A bit of root pruning will probably be needed. Yes ericaceous compost is a must, then water in some sequestrene or suitable fertiliser. Give it a go, you've nothing to lose!