Monday, May 16, 2011

Rhododendrons

PJM rhododendron
The PJM rhododendron at least likes me and my garden.  It has bloomed every year since I first put it in, over 15 years ago.
A nice mature plant - at least 15 years.
What ails thee?


Rhododendrons can be so finickity! What's up with mine?  Any ideas out there? I tried to describe my rhodo problem to a master gardener and they said it sound like my plant has a virus!  I'm beginning to think so!  The leaves start out green and then turn brown and dash my hope once more!  The heartbreak of rhododendrons! you can see I treat them right with a blanket of pine needles, the proper fertilizer in Spring and Fall and yet they disappoint me! It looks like the blooms are intact though, so I keep it in spite of itself!

You can see the new growth at the bottom right, but they eventually turn brown and die like the branch at the far left.
Spireas are much more satisfying. They look good in any season and are always interesting as they change colour in the Spring and Fall and then cover themselves in bloom in summer. I don't even mind trimming them, because I like the way the new growth comes in with reddish, gold, or sometimes pinkish and white hues. This one was yanked out when we rebuild the deck, divided up into 3 plants and yet still looks good. I plunked it back in the ground in the same location and it looks like it never moved.
Goldflame spirea - a knockout in the Spring with its new growth!
Goldmound spirea, compact with bright yellow foliage all summer.