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It’s easy to fall in love with Catawba Rhododendrons. These captivating Accents offer so much! When the days are mild, they put on the most fabulous parade of blooms in shades of pink, purple, and white. And all year long, Catawba Rhododendrons contribute structure and vivid greenery to the garden with their glossy, bold leaves. The question is… which one should you choose? We think Edith Bosley ought to be on your short list. Its vibrant, royal purple flowers will delight you in late spring, and its handsome foliage will be a fine backdrop to all the summer and fall flowers you plant at its feet.
- Hardiness Zone: 6
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Edith Bosley is a type of Catawba Rhododendron. From late 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. No longer just a mountain dweller, this cherished American native has found a happy home in gardens all over the East and the Northwest, not to mention overseas. Edith Bosley is a selection that originated right here in the USA. Rhododendron breeder Paul Bosley developed this form at his nursery in Mentor, Ohio, in 1935. He named the plant after his wife.
Some Rhododendrons can be a bit tricky to grow, but Edith Bosley is one of the most resilient. With proper care, it thrives in the colder states—down to -20ºF—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 Edith Bosley 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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