Boursault Rhododendron could easily win a place in your landscape by virtue of its foliage alone. Big, glossy, rich green leaves clothe this beauty from head to toe. Plant it around a shady seating area, and its dense, lush growth will prevent prying eyes from looking in on you while you unwind in your private backyard sanctuary. But great foliage isn’t all this elegant Accent has to offer. In late spring, Boursault erupts in a profusion of bountiful blossoms. The lovely lavender flowers are held in large, rounded clusters and make a stunning show. Exquisite!
Boursault is a type of Catawba Rhododendron. From April through June, the Catawba Rhododendron lights up shady hillsides and forest understory in the Alleghany Mountains, bringing its rosy purple cheer to a region extending from southern Virginia to northern Alabama. Boursault is a choice selection with a nice, compact growth habit (though it can get large in time). This is a classic Rhodie that has stood the test of time. Its exact origins, however, are unclear. No one knows where or when it first appeared, though its name would imply it came from a French nursery.
Some Rhododendrons can be a bit tricky to grow, but Boursault is one of the most resilient. With proper care, it thrives in the colder states—down to -25ºF—and tolerates the heat and humidity of the South as well. This one is a winner!
How to Grow
Catawba Rhododendron is tougher than many Rhododendrons, but it does appreciate good siting and aftercare. Plant Boursault in part shade, in cool, acidic, well-drained soil for best results. Keep the rootzone moist but never soggy. An annual layer of organic mulch will help to retain moisture. Avoid harsh chemical fertilizers—Catawba Rhododendron is sensitive to overfeeding;a gentle organic product like Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer is all that is needed if plants seem weak or “hungry.” Black vine weevil and Azalea lace bug can sometimes be an issue, but specimens grown in optimal conditions in most cases will remain healthy and resistant to attack.
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