Plant of the Month: March

Rhododendrons & Azaleas

It’s nearly prime time for the azalea and rhododendron, that’s why they’re our Plants of the Month. They are usually at their best from April to June so choose your favourites now. 

Early flowering rhododendrons will soon be bursting into bloom. There are so many colours, from dark red to orange, yellow and white, plus every shade in-between. They can look good planted in front of taller shrubs, which also gives some much needed shade. In a sheltered spot, they take very little care. Originally from woodland, they prefer a shady position, although some can tolerate sunshine – ask for advice in Garsons if you’re unsure. 

The rhododendron and azalea can look good in pots as well as planted in your garden. They like moist, well-drained acid soil. If your soil isn’t acidic, use plenty of ericaceous compost. Add chipped bark around the base as the roots are quite close to the surface.

Once the plant is established, feed it with liquid ericaceous fertiliser every couple of weeks through the flowering season. Acid-loving plants don’t like tap water unless it has been boiled and cooled. Rainwater is ideal, so invest in a water butt if you don’t already have one. 

The azalea and rhododendron like room to grow, so give them space from other plants. In the right conditions, some will grow huge over time and be covered with blooms every year. They make lovely houseplants too. 

Remember that it’s Mother’s Day on 10th March. Garsons card holders have 10% off outdoor plants throughout March, better still there’s 20% off the Plant of the Month range (not in conjunction, T&Cs apply), which means you can treat your mum or yourself to the azalea and rhododendron in March to take advantage of the offer.

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