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Zut alors! “The Honourable Jean Marie de Montague Rhododendron” is a mouthful, but you can just call him “Jean Marie” (yes, Jean Marie is usually a man’s name). The Rhododendron with the complicated name is simply one of the best Rhododendrons ever produced. With its intense, fire-engine-red blooms, many believe it to be the truest red Rhodie on the market. And it has been on the market a long time! This beloved heirloom Accent has been gracing gardens for decades. Discover what made your grandparents fall in love with Jean Marie when you plant it in your own garden.
- Hardiness Zone: 7
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Hybrid Evergreen Rhododendrons are the result of years of patient breeding work done using countless species and forms of these spectacular Accents. Because of the efforts of so many professional and amateur plant lovers, we now have a rainbow of colors to choose from when selecting Rhododendrons for our homes. Jean Marie de Montague Rhododendron was bred in 1901, the work of a Dutch nursery called C.B. van Nes & Sons. Slow to find its way into mass production, it wasn’t commonly available until the 1930s, though it has been warmly embraced ever since. Because of its clear, fine color, all red Rhododendrons are measured against Jean Marie.
Big, bold, dark evergreen foliage is another asset of Jean Marie de Montague Rhododendron. This distinguished Accent fills blank spaces with lush greenery all year long. It’s a compact grower, but can get large in favorable climates, so give it room.
How to Grow
Rhododendrons appreciate a little pampering. They thrive when shielded from hot summer sun and given moist but well-drained, acidic soil. They never like to dry out but don’t care for soggy conditions, either. Rhododendrons can “burn” from harsh chemical fertilizers, so feed with a gentle organic product like Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer. Azalea lace bug can sometimes be an issue, but specimens grown in optimal conditions in most cases will remain healthy and resistant to attack. If pruning is necessary, trim your Jean Marie de MontagueRhododendron immediately after blooming, as next year’s flower buds are formed in summer.
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