Rhododendron 'Elisabeth Hobbie' 


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Rhododendron 'Elisabeth Hobbie' ~cu R.S.jpg
Rhododendron 'Elisabeth Hobbie' ~cu R.S.jpg
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Genus: Rhododendron

Common Name: Rhododendron 'Elisabeth Hobbie'

Latin Name: Rhododendron 'Elisabeth Hobbie'

Variety: 'Elisabeth Hobbie'

Family Name: Ericaceae

Plant Description:

Rhododendrons are one of the largest and most diverse genera of ornamental plants in cultivation ranging from evergreen large flowered hybrids to dwarf smaller leaved shrubs. They are usually smothered in flowers, and, provided the initial planting site is chosen with care, these plants will keep flowering for years with fairly low maintenance required. 'Elisabeth Hobbie' forms a low dense compact shrub with deep green foliage and trusses of scarlet red flowers marked with darker red spots in March. There is a rhododendron to suit most gardens as many are happy growing in containers if soil conditions do not suit. These are good plants for town gardens as they are tolerant of pollution. The three main requirements for successful cultivation are lime free soil, plenty of water but good soil drainage, and some shelter from strong wind and sun. Heavy clays prone to waterlogging can be a problem. The big leaved species and hybrids are really woodland plants and will be happier, and remain in flower for longer, if provided with a degree of shade and shelter. Dwarf rhododendrons are a better choice for dry gardens being more tolerant of sun and drier soils. As all rhododendrons are acid loving plants, a pH of 4.5 to 6 is ideal but they can usually cope with neutral soils. It is the calcium content of limey soils which causes problems for the plant. If the soil is only slightly alkaline it is often possible to lower the pH with bark, leaf mould and flowers of sulphur. Otherwise rhododendrons will need to be given suitable soil by growing them in containers or raised beds filled with ericaceous compost and watered with rainwater. Rhododendron species grow all over the world with the exception of Africa and South America. Plant hunters brought back species for Victorian collectors who began crossing them to produce brightly coloured flamboyant hybrid varieties.


Latin Name Explanation:

From the Greek rhodo' meaning rose and 'dendron' meaning 'tree'.


Preferred Aspect: Partial Shade

Height: 1m

Spread:

Form: Evergreen

Hardiness: Fully Frost Hardy - withstand temperature down to -15C


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Specific Planting:

Incorporate plenty of organic matter in to the soil prior to planting. Well rotted manure, leaf mould or composted bark is especially good. Never use spent mushroom compost as this contains lime. If necessary improve soil drainage further by incorporating grit or sand - rhododendrons hate waterlogged sols. Ideally plant in the autumn, when most root formation takes place, or in early spring. Dig a hole 2-3 times the size of the rootball and plant so that the top of the rootball is just beneath the original surrounding soil surface. Rhododendrons are shallow rooted plants so must never be planted too deeply. Water in well and add a mulch of leaf mould or bark, avoiding the stem of the plant. Never mulch with uncomposted grass cuttings as these heat up as they rot and will kill the roots. If constructing a raised bed in which to grow the rhododendrons, fill with a free-draining ericaceous compost. A bed surrounded by bricks should be lined with polythene to prevent leaching of the chalky brick mortar in to the soil. If planting in a container, choose a wide pot and fill with ericaceous compost. Good drainage is essential.


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Propagation


Layering
Semi-ripe & Ripewood Cuttings



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