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Can you please give me some advice on planting a new rhododendron.  I live in Folkestone & share a communal garden.  I may have to plant it in a clay pot, but possibly in the ground if this is preferable for the plant.  I need to know what conditions it likes, soil & feeding etc. & whether in an open space or diess it prefer to be near a fence or perhaos a brick wall? ( South,North,East or West? Which is best? )

my daughter in Guildford has 2 in clay pots, she planted 5 years ago & they are fabulous!   They are a metre tall, & at least a metre wide. They are in glorious bloom right now.   She spoke of special soil she had to buy to plant them in? 

and dies it need attention during winter months ? 

All information would be very greatly appreciated...thankyou.....



Tads, Folkestone


Tads, first and foremost soil must be acid.  Do a PH test if unsure.

Grow in a pot if alkaline but plants are better in the ground.  Choose a dwarf variety if growing in a pot.  The yakushimanum varieties are excellent

I grow azaleas and rhododendrons in pots and they vary from open sunny positions to partial shade.  Dappled shade is ideal.

Depends too on variety.....are you planning a dwarf variety or large variety?

They are tough and hardy and will cope with winter.  Some are evergreen others are not and there are loads of varieties and colours, flower size, leaf size, even colour.  

Re acid soil, you cannot simply add acid/ericaceous soil to an alkaline one and think it becomes suitable for rhododendrons because it won't be.  

hello Verdun thanks for info.

i picked up a rhodie simply called "Red Jack" - I don't know any more about it than that i'm afraid!   But it seems a full size variety to me!  As you tell me they are pretty hardy, & my daughter's (in pots) have done sooooo well, I think I am going to try mine in a clay pot for now.    Can I simply plant the rhodie in ericaceous compost or must this be mixed with acid soil? (if my soil isn't acid, can you buy such a thing as 'acid soil'?)

I have read-up about their "ball" root system & need to be kept well watered. Is that more or less it?  how often do you feed your rhodies , & any particular food you think is best? 

As you mention that you also grow azalea - may I ask you something else?  i was given a standard azalea houseplant for Mothers Day.  It has bloomed profusely for 5 weeks, & given me a great deal of pleasure, it's been really glorious!  I should like to try not to lose it if that's possible?   Can I try to get this to grow outside, do you think?  Will that work or not?  I have heard I will have to 'stagger, (take my time) trying to move it to new surroundings?  first moving it to a very sheltered position outside, for perhaps a few weeks, before attempting to transplant it.  Is this so?  Again I should like to plant it in a clay pot outside;  from what you say, the soil would be the same for both azalea & rhododendron, is that right?  Is there any advice you can please spare on the subject? 

I keep a "gratitude book"  so the advice you have already given me, is my entry for tonight .....thankyou for this...  Nite! 









plantfor Moghers Day, it has bloomed for 5 weeks

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