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Species Rhododendron flowering for the first time!

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by merleworld, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. merleworld

    merleworld Total Gardener

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    Hope all my GC friends are well and have survived the winter :)

    Love this time of year - everything's starting to sprout into life and the Camellias are in bloom :spinning:

    I am absolutely chuffed that my species Rhododendron Praestans is flowering for the first time. I bought it back in 2011 as a 3 or 4 year old plant so it's only taken ten years or so but well worth the wait :hapydancsmil:

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    The leaves on this Rhodo are 10-12 inches long and the flowers will be huge :spinning:

    It needs re-potting which will be a helluva job cos the root ball is so heavy but the rewards are worth it. Will post more pics once it's fully open (just pray now for frost to stay away even though it's in a sheltered spot).

    I've also got a r. Rothschildii bought at the same time but it's not showing any signs of blooming just yet.
     
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    • Sirius

      Sirius Total Gardener

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      merleworld,

      Very nice, well done.

      I have a R sinogrande and it is sooooo sloooow.
      In the 4 years that I have had it, it's only put on a few cm.
       
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      • merleworld

        merleworld Total Gardener

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        As an aside, I'm loving my new camera which I took delivery of today - just look at the level of detail even after a severe crop ...

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        • redstar

          redstar Total Gardener

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          my shrubs have tons of buds on them, there are about 8 shrubs in a circle in the front side part of our property. not quiet yet to be ready to open. All shrubs are about 15 feet tall, gave them a heavy pruning two years ago, and they seem happy.
           
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          • silu

            silu gardening easy...hmmm

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            Lovely @merleworld. I completely understand your excitement:yay:.The foliage looks really healthy, maybe you have it in a sheltered spot?
            20 odd years ago I bought a couple of species Rhododendrons partly due to their great foilage. 1 (Rhododendron pachysanthum) has almost silver leaves, rusty orange when very young and amazingly bright orange indentum, pink fading to white flowers and that 1 flowered after about 4 or 5 years. The other 1 with big leaves (Rex Fictolacteum) was not so quick to flower! My late uncle who had amazing Rhododendron in his garden in Dublin (good climate for species being a bit warmer than many parts of Britain and much wetter!!)asked why on earth I'd bought it as "You'll be dead before that flowers". Well he was almost right as it took 16 years to flower. It now flowers very well if the damned frost doesn't get the buds. The flowers are huge and a gorgeous palest pink . Worth the wait...just:). Maybe post a photo of the bloom when fully out if the wrtetched frost don't ruin it. In a pot? can I ask why and if so the pot must be some size? Photos aren't mine as I lost all I had when I dropped and broke my laptop:doh:.
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              Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
            • merleworld

              merleworld Total Gardener

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              I keep it in a pot because I don't have space in a border and also want to take it with me whenever I move from here. It's in a sheltered spot at the north facing side of the house so it's protected. Pot is 60cm across, next one up is bigger.
               
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              • merleworld

                merleworld Total Gardener

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                @silu Updated pics:

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                You can see the r. Rothschildii behind it, which always droops until the warmer spring weather arrives. No sign of blooms on that one unfortunately, but it will also be re-potted this year.
                 
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                • silu

                  silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                  Lovely blooms @merleworld . They are so much nicer than Hybrids but they do test one's patience and most are quite early to flower which doesn't suit here too well having frosts well into April usually. My Rex does the same as your r. Rothschilii. Maybe it's a way of concerving heat? it always looks as tho it's needing a good doze of water but as you say once things warm up a bit the leaves stop drooping.
                   
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                  • merleworld

                    merleworld Total Gardener

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                    @silu I've just noticed that the r. Rothschildii is also flowering for the first time :hapfeet:

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                    Only two blooms but it's a start!
                     
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                    • silu

                      silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                      Great for you:hapydancsmil:. With my Rex after the LONG wait she has flowered every year and each year the blooms grow in numbers. I do dead head as the spent flowers look a bit tatty but mainly in the hope that all energies go into new flowers rather than seed which species produce a lot of. Whether it makes a difference I don't really know (obviously dead heading does not happen in the wild:rolleyespink:)but it makes me feel as tho I'm doing my best to encourage flowering.
                      Expect the new blooms will end up almost white? My Rex starts very similarly to the pink buds in your photo but the blooms are much paler. Another photo please when your "babies" are fully out.
                       
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                      • merleworld

                        merleworld Total Gardener

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                        @silu One bloom on my r. Rothschildii is out and it's a lovely pink shade :spinning:

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                        • silu

                          silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                          It's quality not quantity @merleworld :). Truly lovely. I expect the bloom will go paler the longer it is out. Maybe it is the sun (what sun? we have snow atm!) or maybe they just natually fade a bit. Whatever it's worth the wait.
                          Just as an aside, I try and deadhead my species as they do set seed if you don't. My Rex is now too tall for me to get at all of them but I do try and remove the majority. You probably know this already but thought I'd mention it.
                           
                        • merleworld

                          merleworld Total Gardener

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                          Thanks silu :) I do deadhead all my rhodos but appreciate the advice.
                           

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