This guest blog post comes from Ken Evans, managing director of Plants 2 Gardens and presenter on QVC Gardening.
Rhododendron ‘Germania’ is a fantastic garden plant that has a superb combination of subtle pink flowers with ruffled edges, emphasised by the beautiful, bold evergreen leaves. This imposing yet compact perennial shrub with a cocktail of delicious colour has been chosen as the QVC cherished choice for Plant of the Month for February. It’s the perfect choice for gardens, ideal for growing in containers, or planted in a mixed border. What’s more the plant will get bigger and better with age rewarding you with years of enjoyment and fabulous flowers each year.
Rhododendron ‘Germania’ definitely improves with age. For the very best results choose a mature, well-established plant that has been given some well-deserved professional TLC and is ready to establish and perform in your garden. These magnificent QVC plants are established 5-year-old plants, growing in large 7.5 litre pots, that have been pinched and pruned each year to give the perfect shape. Each plant is lovingly grown and cared for in the UK which means that it is perfectly suited and acclimatised to the UK weather conditions and will produce a minimum of 100 flowers in the first year.
To get the very best from your remarkable rhododendron follow these simple tips:
- Rhododendron ‘Germania’ prefers acidic soil but will happily grow in anything other than an alkaline soil, if in doubt do a soil check before planting.
- Any good multipurpose compost is suitable, soil-based John Innes composts are easier to manage in terms of watering and feeding. The most suitable would be John Innes Ericaceous.
- It can be grown in a pot/container or in a border, and will flower in April/May.
- Plant outside in full sun or partial shade.
- Dead heading will give another lease of life and better performance. Just be careful to not remove any new growing tips that will be forming just under the flower.
- Keep plants moist and water regularly to enable these fabulous plants to establish and thrive.
- If a frost is due, a brilliant, easy and effective task would be to cover any new buds with a tea towel, or garden fleece, as protection.
- Feed rhododendrons every four weeks from February to the end of September with Flower Power.
- Rhododendrons are evergreen but like all evergreen plants they will shed some older leaves during the season. Rake up and remove these fallen leaves during the autumn.