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Exquisite! Rhododendrons in general are superb Accents with a wealth of wonderful attributes, but this one is truly special. Whereas most evergreen Rhodies feature flowers in shades of pink, purple, white, or occasionally yellow, Blue Baron boasts heavenly blossoms in a near-blue hue. When the sweet, mild days of spring have arrived, Blue Baron opens its dreamy purple-blue blooms in celebration. This is a delicate-looking Accent with an open, airy habit that’s perfect for planting at the edge of a woodland garden. In more formal landscapes it’s also at home and adds a note of lightness and cheer.
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. One website lists 15,000 varieties of Evergreen Rhododendrons in its database! Blue Baron Rhododendron originated at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, about 30 miles west of Boston. Weston Nurseries has been the source of many fine hybrid Rhododendrons. They are probably best known for their hardy ‘PJM’ Rhodies.
Blue Baron 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 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 Blue Baron Rhododendronimmediately after blooming, as next year’s flower buds are formed in summer.
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