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rhododendrons in containers?

(11 Posts)
NotAnEMERGENCY Fri 19-May-17 10:19:29

I'd like to get a rhododendron but don't have the right soil for it in my border. They have 5l hybrid rhododendrons at B&Q and Tesco at the moment. Would these be OK if I kept them in a pot? They're supposed to grow up to ~2m (obviously that's long term!) but can I just keep pruning them every year to keep them at a more 'reasonable' height?

Elphaba99 Fri 19-May-17 10:40:07

They won't grow that big if in a pot, don't worry. You can even plant them in pots then sink the pot into your border if necessary. I have one wild one rescued (with permission) from Snowdonia - it lives in a pot of ericaceous and is about 1m high.

I also have a beautiful red one in a pot. As long as you buy ericaceous compost and keep them watered (even in the winter if it's dry), they should be fine. You can get liquid feed for them too if necessary.

NotAnEMERGENCY Fri 19-May-17 10:53:31

Great - thank you!

Trethew Fri 19-May-17 11:25:10

Perfectly possible to keep a rhodo in a pot of ericaceous compost, but try and find a cool position and keep the soil moist . Oncethe roots have dried out they won't recover. Also they have shallow spreading roots so prefer a wide topped pot. Don't prune it all over like topiary. Instead each year take back a couple of the stems that are extending too far, just cut the back to a joint in the stem

Elphaba99 Fri 19-May-17 11:31:03

Good point, Trethew - I should have said about a wide pot that's not too deep. 👍

NotAnEMERGENCY Fri 19-May-17 11:46:51

Useful advice - thanks!

RoganJosh Fri 19-May-17 11:51:12

Are you sure your soil wouldn't be ok? We've had very happy rhododendrons in clay which they aren't meant to like.

JT05 Fri 19-May-17 12:30:18

Ericaceous soluble plant food is sold in Wilkos.

NotAnEMERGENCY Fri 19-May-17 13:01:42

Yes, we have clay but it was more the pH levels I was unsure about. There is also the possibility that we may be moving within the next year and it'd be nice to take the rhododendron with us.

GinGeum Fri 19-May-17 16:43:45

Ah, do they have shallow spreading roots? This makes sense! We've got a ginormous one planted under a huge pine tree, so obviously the perfect pH for the plant, but I did wonder how it managed to compete with the tree. Shallow roots explains it.

Elphaba99 Fri 19-May-17 17:03:44

Yes, exactly. And the OP is right - it's the soil's PH that's important. They grow in acidic peaty soil in the wild.

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