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Shrubs and trees, forming large genus Rhododendron attract gardeners flowersdifferent sizes, colors and shapes. But if the gardener liked rhododendron, planting and care in the open field will make him completely surrender to this cause. Only competent and attentive care plant will respond with growth and beautiful flowering.
In nature, rhododendrons are found in many parts of the world. Russia is no exception. The Far East, the Caucasus and Siberia are home to several species that are perfectly adapted to local conditions. The most winter-hardy ones are used for growing rhododendron in open ground in the Urals and in other regions with harsh climatic conditions.
Time and place for planting rhododendron in the ground
On the basis of the most beautiful wild species, breeders have created many cultivated varieties. Such plants are covered with white, pink, purple, and sometimes fragrant halos during flowering. Varietal rhododendrons are most often planted in gardens, but they may not be sufficiently cold-resistant.
In order to plant rhododendron in the middle lane and care for it in the open field were successful, you need to choose not only spectacular, but also hardy plants.
There are two favorable periods for planting shrubs in the ground:
- spring, from April to mid-May;
- autumn, from September to October.
Specific time is chosen based on the climatic and weather conditions of the region. The farther south, the earlier the soil warms up after winter, and later winter comes. In the northern areas:
- if you plant a seedling early, it will freeze from frost;
- if you delay in the fall, the plant will not have time to acclimatize and will not be able to survive the winter.
In the Urals, in Siberia, in the North-West, seedlings that have fallen into the garden in the spring and received the most attentive care in the summer take root better. In the south, shrubs are planted in summer, but only when there are no flowers on them.
In plants of this genus, the surface root system. On the one hand, it helps them to gain a foothold on the slopes, but on the other, it complicates the care of rhododendron after planting in open ground and worsens the position of other species growing in the neighborhood. To limit the growth of roots, the area allotted for rhododendron is enclosed by digging in slate, roofing material, dense material for waterproofing.
Do not forget that in addition to the substrate with high acidity, the plant needs minerals. They are added in the form of complex fertilizer.
If the rhododendron shrub was without water for a long time before planting in the ground, the root system is immersed in water for several hours. It will encourage the plant, and it will acclimatize more quickly in a new place.
The sapling is placed on the top of the man-made mound so that the root collar when filling is not lower than the ground level. Roots gently unravel and spread over wet soil. When the pit is filled, the soil is compacted and watered again to wet the ground by at least 20 cm.
After planting, the near-stem circle is thickly covered with mulch based on peat, pine needles, crushed moss, pine bark or oak foliage. In the first year you do not need to give a bush to bloom. This plant will require a lot of precious forces needed for rooting. Therefore, all appearing buds gently break off, and care for rhododendron in the open field after its landing in spring begins with the installation of a support, which will save the still weak crown from wind and other risk factors.
Care for rhododendron in the open field after planting
Taking care of the rhododendron in the garden does not differ much from caring for other ornamental shrubs. The plant requires:
- soil moisture:
- regular, but very neat, so as not to damage the root system, weed removal;
- the same careful loosening of the wheel circle;
- soil fertilizer;
- help with pest attacks.
During the formation of buds and flowering rhododendrons it is vital to regularly get enough moisture. If the plant is in drought conditions, it not only blooms worse this year, but also turns out to be unprepared for the next season. The optimum soil acidity for planting rhododendron in open ground in the Moscow region or another region is 4.5–5 units. In irrigation water for this ornamental culture, it is useful to add rotted needles from the forest floor or unoxicated peat.
To determine the time when rhododendron needs watering can be paid attention to the leaves. If they have lost their tone and gloss, do not hesitate! Abundant watering and irrigation of the crown will return to the plant its former beauty.
Rhododendrons are fertilized from early spring to the end of flowering in the second half of summer. Feed the shrubs and stands before flowering, and fertilizers must be applied to the wet soil after watering.
As a supplement it is useful to use products with an acidic reaction, as well as organic matter, including:
- compost with the addition of rotten forest floor;
- horn-bone meal.
Rhododendrons almost do not need formative pruning, sanitary cutting of old, affected by frost or dried shoots carried out in early spring, before the juices begin to move.
In summer, when flowering occurs, it is important to remove faded buds in order to preserve the strength of the shrub on the bookmark of flower buds of the next year.
When planting and caring for rhododendron in the open field, it is necessary to take into account that the culture is heat-loving and in the winter, without shelter, can be seriously affected. Frost protection is prepared in advance. Already by October in the north and by November in the middle zone, the root zone is covered with peat, and then, before the attack, the crown is tied and covered with lapnik and sacking. Shelter can be removed only in early spring, it is better on a cloudy day to avoid sunburn and cracking of the bark.