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Rhododendron, although it is fragile if grown in the plains, it is often taken as a symbol of "fragile enchantment", actually in a mountain environment, which is the one of origin, it does not fare badly. It is a question of roots and humidity, it is still a very used flower to declare love, fragile or otherwise, the feeling you want to communicate.
The name of the Rhododendron derives from the Greek rhodon = rose and dendron = tree, “rose tree " therefore it means, and comes from various areas: from Europe but also from the Asian mountains and the boreal territories of the American continent. We Italians also have ours Rhododendron which grows spontaneously throughout the North, is the Ferrugineum, also called Rosa delle Alpi, in the Northeast there is also Hirsutum, more common.
Belonging to the Ericaceae family, the genus of Rhododendron includes shrubs or trees with persistent or deciduous leaves and is often likely to be confused with Azalea. Indicatively, the former is evergreen, prefers to live "down to earth" rather than in pots, has considerable size and produces flowers with 10 stamens. The Azaleas instead they are smaller and with deciduous leaves.
Returning to ours Rhododendron, in the world there are over 750 species and often they are very different from each other, most of them appear as low shrubs but there are also some with the appearance of real trees.
The flowering of the Rhododendron it has different shapes and colors, there is something for all tastes and environments. Here are the species most worthy of attention. L'Arboreum it blooms from March to May and reaches a considerable size: originally from the Himalayas, it produces obviously large, bell-shaped flowers that are assembled in small groups, showing off colors that can vary from white to bright red.
The Rhododendron Augustinii comes from China and looks like an evergreen shrub enriched with blue flowers in groups of four, Lutescens is always Chinese in origin but blooms in yellow, almost never exceeding 3 meters in height. Even the height of 10 meters is instead the one that can reach theAuriculatum, appreciated because it is resistant and pink in the flowering period.
Rhododendron - cultivation and care
As I mentioned immediately, in order not to create false expectations, the Rhododendron it is a delicate plant in the plains because it has to deal with a soil and climate different from those it is used to. On the other hand, in the woods or in the mountain meadows, e it blooms without making a fuss.
That said, as we can't move for a Rhododendron, let's try to recreate the optimal conditions for this plant in our garden, starting from the ambient humidity and the soil which must be acidic and calcium-free, as well as constantly humid. When choosing where to place our plant, we have to look the coolest and most humid area of our garden e then give her a moderate amount of organic fertilizer in February, an organic fertilizer like this one, available on Amazon for 12.95 euros..
Before admiring in silence some images of this beautiful flower, a hint of yours very ancient origins, to be found in the areas between China and the Caucasus. It arrived in Europe only in the nineteenth century thanks to English botanists and George Forrest discovered many species during a trip to Yunnan.
It is not one of the most suitable plants for pots given its size, but if we choose the right species, even the Rhododendron he can feel at ease and we with him, enjoying his flowering. Among the various hybrids that we have created over time, there are also of them very compact, 30cm tall, great for a vase life. Beyond the dimensions, hybrids are all evergreen, very rustic, with abundant and very colorful flowers.
Unless we gardeners have personal needs, the Rhododendron it does not require any pruning. The only operation that should be carried out is that of remove “aged” flowers.
Among the problems that can afflict this plant, let's see which are the most frequent. We can often notice that the leaves and flowers tend to dry out or to turn brown, in this case it is low ambient humidity and to resume the Rhododendron just vaporize it more often.
Another thing is if i flowers wither, this is the classic consequence of root rot. Moving on to the parasites that can bother our evergreen, there is the oziorrinco that gnaws the leaves or cuts them, or the red spider that causes the'Yellowing of the leaves
Finally it is time to dedicate ourselves to the Rhododendrons of our home, to the two mountain species that grow spontaneously at high altitudes also in Italy. The Rhododendron Hirsutum, also called hairy rhododendron, it grows in the Alps and its leaves and branches are covered with a thin and soft down.
It never exceeds 50-60 cm e blooms in June. Shortly before, another rhododendron endemic to the Alps produces flowers, the Ferrugineum which lives between 1000 and 1900 meters and is very spectacular when it blooms.
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