If you have questions about rhododendron or azalea culture, here is the place to ask. Maybe you have a disease or insect pest. Start a forum here to see if you can find out what you have and how to get rid of it. Maybe you want to know how to propagate rhodies. Again, this is the forum where to ask.
I used the link over on the right there to connect to the ARS and found a list for my area...I had to do a little research as I wasn't sure what Elepidotes and Lepidotes were, but I've got a great start and will be able to pick out a nice mix.
sugarcane, you must be really really new to the area if you don't know the sheer numbers - hillsides full - of rhodys and 'zaleas here in NC! come spring, it turns into a fairyland of bloom. They really like growing under all our pines - pine straw is a natural slightly acid mulch. Most bloom the same time as all our native wild dogwoods.
But, having said all that - I've never had a rhody survive my planting of it!
A local master gardener warned me NOT to bury it in my heavy red Carolina clay soil. she said to just make a very shallow bowl, put the rootball in, then pile better soil overtop. It still didn't work, and I've spent a fortune on rhodys. a few weeks after planting, they start losing leaves and within four months they are dead. I buy them from the local Men's Garden club sale during bloom season. That's when they are available locally. they look in top form when I buy.
I lived in Winston-Salem for a few years and that red clay would definitely be really hard for growing rhodies! My memory is of canna lilies, boxwood, wisteria, and fruit and nut trees! When I saw the dogwoods and redbuds in the woods, I thought someone must have planted them!!!! Duh!
Thanks for your timely advise ..I just came back from Lowes with 6 azaleas and a rhododendron. Next stop the compost store. I'm from MA. originally, and have lived in coastal flood zone VA for the past 10 years and just moved to NC in the fall. I knew that azaleas grew here but haven't seen any rhododendrons. Our new yard is blessed with nice brown soil, I haven't seen much in the way of clay and none of that unnatural red colored stuff. I typically plant everything in raised berms using compost... just to help with drainage. I'm guessing though that I should work in some peat with the compost before I plant?
Kathy I checked out rare find nursery and they have almost every plant that would do well in my zone...but the prices were out of my range so I am working on a lottery number for the mega millions drawing!
Yes, the good thing is the size of the plants there. They are all blooming size. At least the ones I saw. They are expensive but if you get tired of what everyone sells, this is the place. Time to win some money!!!
I am also very limited even though it is self imposed, I hate to lose z5 + ones. Last year, I had to cut a huge old rhodie down to the snow cover line. The cold/warm of Jan and dehydration killed the top. I used Wilt Pruf this fall but I think I was supposed to do it again in Jan-Feb. Oops. It's hard to tell how they are right now. Many shrubs are bent and stuck in the snow and we have many big limbs that snapped off from the 2' of snow on Wed. Lots of tree work ahead this spring.
Name: Evan Layne Western Mass, USA, z6a Birthplace of Basketball
I see this is an old thread but I was wondering why you were limited in Azaleas and Rhodos, since I was sure I remembered you writing you were Z5a in one of your articles. I've learned a great deal from your many and varied articles I've read on DG. The wind and snow loads explain issues.
During a kayaking vacation to Newfoundland several years ago we heard plenty of stories about big snow, high winds, glaciers and the occasional Polar Bear. Newfoundland is one of the most naturally picturesque places I've been. That must help explain why folks are so friendly, helpful, ... We toured as much of your island as we could, with 2-3 day paddling trips and day paddles mingled in. Let me tell you, when they say you can paddle with wales, take it seriously! During one rest break off the Avalon Peninsula we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by Minkies, and one Humpback feeding on Capilene.
I'm from New England but I have to say the sweetest lobster, yes sweet, are from Newfoundland. The wild strawberries were great as well.
Oh, I wanted to mention that I found my way here via the Iris Cubit which had a link to the Siberian and Sino-Siberian Iris article of yours over on DG.