Along with azaleas, rhododendrons form the genus rhododendron, of the ericaceae family. The delicate flowering shrubs found in the gardens belong to the subgenus Hymenanthe, Rhododendron or Therorhodion.
Characteristics of rhododendrons
Some giant species can reach 10 meters high, especially in the Himalayas. Their foliage is persistent and consists of relatively tough leaves. The rhododendron flowers, in the shape of a trumpet, can be multiple colors (pink, white, lilac pink, speckled with purple, salmon pink, carmine), and appear from the end of winter to the beginning of summer. The most exotic species are toxic.
The rhododendron likes acidic, and above all well-drained soils. It is said to be a heather earth plant. It is afraid of limestone: its leaves can become discolored if the irrigation water is too calcareous or if its roots meet this material. Withstanding low temperatures, this shrub prefers a semi-shaded location, sheltered from wind and direct sun. Dwarf rhododendrons are suitable for use in tubs or pots, but most species are more impressive in beds or even isolated. You can plant your rhododendron from September to April.
It is generally not necessary to cut the rhododendron flowers. However, if necessary, wait until the end of flowering to act. By cutting over one eye, you will promote branching. To ensure proper growth, remove dead wood and remove wilted flowers as you go.
Symbolic of the rhododendron
In the language of flowers, rhododendron plants signify the danger, this is undoubtedly linked to the toxicity of the plant. In Montreal, the rhododendron means "" you are the most beautiful "". The plant is also the national flower of Nepal, it appears on the coat of arms of the country in the shape of a crown.
Honey from rhododendron, of the genus Rhododendron ponticum, has slightly hallucinogenic and laxative effects. It causes vomiting, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous disorders. From ancient Rome, there was talk of troops victims of a honey that drives you mad.
Discover the advice of Doctor Plantes to care for a rhododendron whose leaves are perforated