On Liming Rhododendrons
Douglas Gibb-Edlich, Seattle, Washington
At one of the meetings of the Seattle chapter I have stated what I'm going to write. It is not very much. however significant, and shall we say a bit unorthodox too. The plant involved is a R. 'Loderi King George'. I bought it at Van's Nursery in Seattle together with one R. 'Loder's White'. Since they were too much in the sun R. 'Loder's White' died, and R. 'King George' looked very sick indeed. I placed the latter in a shady spot where it received late afternoon sun. But it still did not do well. The foliage assumed the colour of a very light green bordering on yellow. After two treatments with Epsom salt no change was noted. Finally in desperation and the encouragement of an after dinner speech given by our good friend Alleyn Cook I spread approximately 1½ pounds of garden lime around the base of the plant, and mulched it too. That was done during early autumn last year (1960). In autumn 1961 I moved the plant to a new location while trying not to disturb the rootball. I had a very handsome bloom on this plant, and the foliage looks well just the way 'Loderi' foliage is supposed to look from what I can judge by plants in the University of Washington Arboretum. I should mention that the plant is now about 2½ to 3 feet tall. I also presume that the new shady location helps a great deal. Perhaps some readers will come forward and contribute to this controversy.