Rhododendrons and Azaleas
The rhododendron with its colourful flowers and dark green leaves makes a superb addition to any garden. They come in a range of sizes from 30cm to 6m, so make sure your get the right size for your garden. The flowering period is also variable from January to August.

Although all azaleas and rhododendrons are classed as Rhododendrons, the name azalea is commonly used for native deciduous species and some evergreen Oriental types. In general, Rhododendron is used for those species that have large, evergreen, leathery leaves. No sharp division can be made, and it is always correct to call any of them rhododendrons.

Rhododendron 'Lavender Queen'

Hardiness: Though the majority of rhododendrons are hardy in the UK, the buds or flowers of the early flowering types can be damaged by severe frost, protect with horticultural fleece.
Soil: The only drawback to growing rhododendrons is that they need an acidic soil. If your garden lacks in acidity you can add a top dressing of ericaceous compost and/or a rhododendron and azalea feed. A soil testing kit is a must.
Site: As they are natural woodland plants they prefer light or dappled shade with a rich humus of rotted leaves. They also benefit from being sheltered from cold winds.

Gardening Shop UK - Rhododendrons and Azaleas

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