Dwarf Purple Rhododendron
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A petite plant that packs a punch! Dwarf Purple Rhododendron is a little firecracker that will make a big impact in your garden. In mid-spring, when fine, mild weather has arrived, Dwarf Purple Rhododendron’s show gets underway. Countless tiny buds appear, soon bursting open to reveal a profusion of purple flowers. The blossoms have a slight bluish cast, and the resulting color is divine. When it’s done blooming, this mini-Accent makes a tidy cushion of neat, gray-green foliage, looking sharp throughout the year. Try it in the rock garden, at the edge of the border, or in a container for some pint-sized pizzazz.
- Hardiness Zone: 6
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Flashy hybrid Rhododendrons dominate the marketplace, but “species” Rhododendrons have charms all their own. These delightful Accents have not been fussed with or altered but are appreciated just the way they are. Dwarf Purple Rhododendron, for example, wasn’t bred to be tiny, but grows that way naturally in the wild. This species’ home in the wild is in the mountains of China. It is also called the Cloudland Rhododendron because of its preference for growing among misty peaks. Dwarf Purple Rhododendron is a popular plant for shaping into little bonsai trees.
Dwarf Purple Rhododendron is a little trickier to grow than some other Rhododendrons. Be sure you can give this exacting Accent good light but no scorching sun and moist but very sharply drained soil. It may require some special care, but when it’s happy—wow!
How to Grow
Rhododendrons appreciate a little pampering. They thrive when shielded from hot summer sunand 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 Dwarf Purple Rhododendronimmediately after blooming, as next year’s flower buds are formed in summer.
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