Line several for edging or as mini hedges to highlight plantings of perennials. Other dwarfs have small heads of flowers reminiscent of those of the daphnes, e.g. Azaleas are probably thought of first for growing in containers, but don't restrict yourself. and their habits of growth--compact, spreading or trailing. Our message to Australian gardeners is: don't overlook Australian hybrids! Many of the small species and hybrids are available if you look for them, and should be considered seriously for use in the smaller suburban garden, or even for a town house balcony. The best way to develop good plants is to pinch out young buds when the plants are small as this can help develop a bushy plant. R. keiskei 'Dwarf' (dwarf Keisk rhododendron), a dwarf lepidote rhododendron, bears pale yellow 2-inch bell-shaped flowers and has olive-green 2-inch leaves that turn wine red in winter. One word of warning - take the sizes on the plant labels as a guide only, as we have found that plants, if happy with Australian conditions, can exceed what has been stated. They are not showing signs of poor health, but are just adapting to the weather conditions. When looking at plants to buy, don't automatically reject those devoid of flower buds. R. 'Tarantella' (a rich red), R. 'Bernstein' (biscuit yellow) or even some of the newer hybrids with R. yakushimanum in their parentage. Don't be alarmed when seeing drooping leaves on these plants during winter. However, as this is not always possible, you must look for ways of providing a suitable microclimate. Very effective as an accent in a mixed shrub border, or as a spring specimen plant. These remarks so far refer to the Asiatic rhododendrons. The larger, upright growers with silver or cinnamon-backed leaves can make useful hedging subjects. Rhododendrons & Azaleas Some perennials could include hostas, hellebores, primroses and other members of the primula family, woodland anemone or meconopsis. Our nurseries provide a huge range of plants these days, so providing the cultural requirements are basically similar to those of rhododendrons, the sky's the limit. This page was created in Adobe GoLive and BBEdit by, Index for Henning's Rhododendron & Azalea Pages. Many rhododendrons have latent growth buds along their stems which burst into life after pruning has taken place. As well as good, compact trusses of flowers, the interesting foliage allows these varieties to be attractive all year round, an important point to consider. There are enough similarities in climatic conditions in other locations in southeastern Australia that the nominations can be expected generally to be among the "hardier" of choices for the garden. Planting can be done year round, but probably the best time is in autumn, before the ground becomes too cold and wet, or in spring as the weather and the ground begin to warm up. Emerald green round leaves. R. kiusianum blooms while still young, bearing white, pink, rose or purple flowers 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. As a general rule, the smaller the leaf size, the smaller the plant (or, at least, a plant which will flower while still quite small and which can then be kept down in size by judicious pruning after flowering). Abundant, frilly, lemon yellow flowers, dark green rounded foliage,indumentum. have oval leaves, dull or shiny; their flowers, bell-shaped or GROWING IN CONTAINERS Small and dwarf rhododendrons allow those with more modest gardens to indulge on these beautiful, acid-loving, woodland classics without fear of them growing beyond their designated bounds. 1. This page is preserved for informational use. If your questions cannot be answered to your satisfaction by either the cultural notes attached to the plant or by the salesperson, do not hesitate to seek further information from either a specialist nursery, the ARS or from books in your local library. Bright red flowers. SPECIES: R.indicum, R.kaempferi, R.oldhamii, R.simsii, Hedges could also be made using many of the azaleas. and azaleas, contains many dwarf plants suitable for rock gardens, Then a good quality, well drained potting mix should be purchased. ARS South Australia. Elepidotes are large leaved rhododendrons. They do not require frequent repotting as they haven't a huge root system. Some of the smaller cultivars can enjoy being clipped and made into small hedges. Design Ideas This versatile Dwarf Rhododendron lends a decidedly formal character due to its compact habit. Ruby Hart, Saffron Queen, Elisabeth Hobbie, Seta. Furthermore, we want plants which flower early in the season to avoid our hot weather with its accompanying dry winds which can ruin flowers in one day unless they are very well sheltered. To keep the soil cool and moist, mulch it with a 2-inch layer of wood chips, ground bark, pine needles or coarse peat moss. Rhododendron Saffron Queen. This can create a sump which can rot the roots. Good foliage & habit, forms a neat mound covered with masses of lovely yellow. Once again, personal preferences or what area is available in your garden will be your determining factors. A brief list of some easier-to-grow small plants of the 'Asiatic'-type rhododendrons follows: ASIATICS: The first requirement is a container of suitable size for the chosen plant. R. fastigiatum; R. keiskei; R. kiusianum (dwarf azalea); R. nakaharai; and R. racemosum are all dwarf rhododendrons hardy to Zone 6, -10 to -5° F while R. indicum is hardy to Zone 7, 0° F. R. fastigiatum, a dwarf lepidote rhododendron, has shiny blue-gray leaves, 1/2 inch long, and bell-shaped lavender-rose flowers 1 inch wide. Each terminal is has miniature white clusters forming a snowy white ball. It can be generally said that the plants which have this lovely covering under their leaves seem to be able to stand up to attack of the azalea lace bug and other pests and diseases much better than some of the other softer, green-leafed cousins. Container plants can be brought inside for short periods whilst they are flowering, but care should be taken that they receive adequate water and light and are kept away from drying heating systems. The shiny 1-inch leaves sometimes turn red in winter. Although patience is required, this is an excellent plant and is highly recommended, for when its red flowers appear, it is a sight to be seen. It is always better to build up your garden beds than to dig holes in heavy soil and fill with compost etc. The best plant for hiding an older Rhododendron's bare legs. SPECIES: R.austrinum, R.luteum, R.occidentale, R.reticulatum The material upon which this discussion is based was created originally for use in connection with Short Courses in "Gardening with Azaleas & Rhododendrons" conducted by the Victorian Branch. Some suitable bulbs could be daffodils, scillas (Nuebells), snowdrops, snowflakes or liliums, to name but a few. Once again, personal preference plays an important role, for, after all, you are creating your own piece of paradise. The bulk of the hardier rhododendrons have a good, bushy shape, but the leaves tend to be a matt green. Purple, lightly frilled flowers are long lasting & plentiful. PLANTING Do try a variety of growth habits to add interest. This cloth is available in many colours and weights so it is possible to obtain the right choice for any situation. Remember to try to choose shrubs which will either flower at a different time to rhododendrons or will provide colour in a different season, for rhododendrons have a solidity which needs enlivening by contrasting shrubs of lighter texture. Stirling, Pink Delight, Sir Robert Peel, Unique, Fragrantissimum, Van Nes Sensation, Ivery's Scarlet, Hugh Koster, White Pearl, Jean Marie de Montague, Lamplighter, DECIDUOUS AZALEAS BUYING YOUR RHODODENDRON Beware also of planting dwarf rhododendrons where falling leaves could smother the tiny plants. R. racemosum 'Dwarf' (dwarf Mayflower rhododendron), a dwarf lepidote rhododendron, is a spreading semi-prostrate plant 2 feet high and up to 5 feet wide, with many-branched wiry stems. Both have dull, hairy leaves, 2 inches long. Ideal for massing under the canopies of trees with other understory species. In general, their special requirements were that the plants should be cold-hardy and that they should flower late in the season to avoid their hard frosts. Always water in your newly planted acquisitions to not only settle the roots, but to reduce any air pockets. RELOCATING PLANTS After working compost, a mild general fertiliser and drainage material into your ground or raised garden beds, it is time to start planting. R. indicum 'Balsam' (Balsam azalea) and R. indicum 'Flame Creeper' azaleas are prostrate plants that form low mounds up to 4 feet across; they are useful as ground covers. This coloured substance is known as indumentum and can be either soft and velvety or hard plastered. Some dwarf varieties to try in pots are: R. 'Patty Bee', … Although a good rule of thumb is "the smaller the leaf, the more sun, and vice versa", this has to be used with a good measure of common sense. This may mean that the nurseryman is letting the plant develop at its own rate, or perhaps it is a variety that takes a few years to become mature enough to set flower buds.