On R. wardii
Mr. J. E. S., Newport, Oregon
In the January Bulletin of the American Rhododendron Society the article "Out of Season Bloom" gave the impression that the yellow flowered R. wardii seldom if ever blooms, and almost always suffers from total bud drop. Some five or six years ago I purchased a plant from the Barto Gardens at Junction City, Oregon, and with the exception of one or two years the plant has bloomed well every season in late April.
I set the plant in my garden and have never moved it. The soil here is sandy with gravel and even rocks just below the surface. Our home shades the plant with the exception of a few hours in late afternoon. The plant is watered regularly when the lawn is irrigated. this may be as often as twice a week in the summer, for the sandy soil dries out very quickly. Last year the plant had over ninety buds, all of which opened and bloomed.
Editor's note: Possibly very sharp drainage and moisture during the summer months is the simple answer for the successful growing of R. wardii. Members of the Society are invited to write their experiences with this particular species.