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Journal American Rhododendron Society

Current Editor:
Dr. Glen Jamieson ars.editor@gmail.com


Volume 55, Number 1
Winter 2001

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Proven Performers: District 2

The ARS Public Education Committee this year asked chapters to compile lists of the best performing rhododendrons in their areas. Not only were these to be plants with good form, foliage texture, and flowers, but they were to be cold and heat hardy and resistant to pests and diseases. The integrity of the lists is based upon the fact that the plants have proven their ability to perform well in members' gardens. The response to the request was overwhelming, with almost all chapters sending lists to the committee. As a result, the Society and its chapters are able to make these lists available to the public to guide them in selecting rhododendrons that do well in their local area.

The chapters were asked to list ten each of elepidotes, lepidotes, deciduous azaleas, evergreen azaleas, and, where pertinent, vireyas. Some chapters followed this procedure, while others included more of one category than another. No matter how the lists were organized, the Society now has a "Proven Performer" list of rhododendrons that do well in specific regions, along with culture tips specific to the area.

The Journal began publishing the lists in the fall 2000 issue, starting with District 1. The Proven Performers from District 2 are listed in this isue.

DISTRICT 2

CASCADE CHAPTER
Elepidotes (large leaf)
'Alice'
'Bow Bells'
'Cupcake'
'Halfdan Lem'
'Hallelujah'
'Horizon Dawn'
'Hydon Dawn'
'Lem's Cameo'
'Mrs. A. T. de la Mare'
'Noyo Brave'
'Odee Wright'
'Platinum Pearl'
'Plum High'
'Sammamish'
'Senator Henry Jackson'
'Taurus'

Lepidotes (small-leaf)
'Blaney's Blue'
'Bob's Blue'
'Cilpinense'
'Maricee'
'Pink Snowflakes'
'Vibrant Violet'
PJM Group
R. kiusianum 'Komo Kulshan'
R. mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink'
R. racemosum

Deciduous Azaleas
'Big Pumpkin'
'Gibraltar'
'Jack A. Sand'
'Molalla Red'
'Nifty Fifty'
'Strawberry Ice'
R. luteum

Evergreen Azaleas
'Alaska'
'Elsie Lee'
'Fielder's White'
'Girard's Fuchsia'
'Nancy of Robinhill'
'Rosebud'

Note: The Cascade Chapter would like to add that to make a list of 50 is inadequate. They recommend Greer's Handbook to Available Rhododendrons, as the real list of Proven Performers for our area.

Specific to the Cascade Chapter Region
Rhododendrons are air breathers. This means that their roots need air around them. They like light fluffy soil with lots of organic matter. If your soil is heavy and clay-like add lots of peat moss, compost and rotted bark so the soil will hold moisture but drain well. Rhododendrons don't like wet feet or to have the roots standing in water. It's better to plant too high than too deep. If it is planted too deep the rhododendron will sulk and not grow well or bloom as it should.

TO PLANT
1. Water the plant well the day before, whether in a pot or in the garden. Rhododendrons need to have lots of moisture in their leaves and roots to prevent shock. If the plant is in a pot water well the night before. If it is very dry, soak in a bucket of water until it stops bubbling or no longer floats. If the plant is balled and burlapped, check the soil around the roots. Some nurseries grow their plants in clay. The clay dries out and the plant can't absorb water. If in clay, submerge the root ball in a bucket of water to loosen the clay and then gently wash the clay away and plant immediately.
2. Dig new hole. Before digging the existing plant, decide where it is to be planted in your garden. Dig the new hole before you take the plant out of the ground. You need to have a hole ready so that the plant does not sit out in the air and dry out the tiny hair roots. It is these small roots that enable the rhododendron to take up moisture and food.
3. Plant rhododendron. After digging the rhododendron take it to its new home that you have enriched with organic matter and plant it slightly higher than the ground level. The soil will compact some after you water it. It is better to plant too high than too deep. Water the soil well and the leaves too. This will help it from drying out. Apply mulch only outside the drip line, where the rain falls off the leaves. Only apply a small amount of mulch. Too much mulch will suffocate the rhododendron. It likes lots of air around its roots. Water again in two to three days.
HARDINESS
Seattle, Cascade and Pilchuck chapters are located in King and Snohomish counties of Washington State. Membership can range from sea level to 1000 feet of the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Hardiness zones (Sunset Western Garden Book) can be 5 (at sea level) marine influence, 4 (eastern part of the counties) cold winter part and 1 (foot of the Cascade Mountains) coldest winters.

KOMO KULSHAN CHAPTER
Elepidotes (large-leaf)
'Blue Peter'
'Creole Belle'
'Denali'
'Lem's Cameo'
'Naselle'
'Purple Splendour'
'Taurus'
'The Honourable Jean Marie de Montague'
R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum
R. rex

Lepidotes (small-leaf)
'Blaney's Blue'
'Curlew'
'Ginny Gee'
'Maricee'
'Mother Greer'
'Ramapo'
PJM Group
R. dauricum
R. impeditum
R. mucronulatum 'Crater's Edge'

Deciduous Azaleas
'Buttons and Bows'
'Cheerful Giant'
'Gibraltar'
'Homebush'
'Jane Abbott'
'Oxydol'
'Spicy Lights'
R. luteum
R. occidentale
R. schlippenbachii

Evergreen Azaleas
'Everest'
'Girard's Choice'
'Girard's Rose'
'Hino Crimson'
'Nico Red'
'Panda'
'Purple Splendor'
R. indicum 'Balsaminiflorum'
R. kiusianum 'Komo Kulshan'

Specific to the Komo Kulshan Chapter Region
Tips from individual chapter members:
-I plant them on top of the ground, on a berm, or in a container, using composted medium ground fir bark.
-Prepared holes with peat in native poor soil. All have had to survive summers without water during our absences.
-Raised bed in mix of 3:3:3 by volume of silt, coarse sand, bark.

Komo Kulshan Chapter encompasses Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Elevation of members' gardens can range from sea level to 1,000 feet in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Sunset Western Garden Book hardiness zones vary from 5 (at sea level) with marine influence to 4 further east to 1 at the foot of the Cascade Mountains. USDA hardiness zones range from 8b near the coast to 8a further inland and 7b in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

PILCHUCK CHAPTER
Elepidotes (large-leaf)
'Taurus'
'Viennese Waltz'
'Wanna Bee'
'Rosalind'
'Rosalie Hall'
'Bariton'
'Marie Starks'
'Cynthia'
'Mrs. Furnival'
R. pachysanthum

Lepidotes (small-leaf)
'Biskra'
'Blaney's Blue'
'Bodega Crystal Pink'
'Dora Amateis'
'Ginny Gee'
'Gletschernacht'
'Too Bee'
'Vibrant Violet'
PJM Group
R. augustinii

Deciduous Azaleas
'Cannon's Double'
'Cecile'
'Molalla Red'
'Rosy Lights'
'Umpqua Queen'
R. albrechtii
R. luteum
R. occidentale
R. prunifolium
R. schlippenbachii

Evergreen Azaleas
'Amoenum Obtusifolium'
'Caroline Gable'
'Cherry Drops'
'Fascination'
'Lorna'
'Rosebud'
'Stewartstonian'
R. kiusianum 'Komo Kulshan'
R. kiusianum white flowered
R. nakaharae 'Mount Seven Star'

Specific to the Pilchuck Chapter Region
Rhododendrons are air breathers. This means that their roots need air around them. They like light fluffy soil with lots of organic matter. If your soil is heavy and clay-like add lots of peat moss, compost and rotted bark so the soil will hold moisture but drain well. Rhododendrons don't like wet feet or to have the roots standing in water. It's better to plant too high than too deep. If it is planted too deep the rhododendron will sulk and not grow well or bloom as it should.

TO PLANT
1. Water the plant well the day before, whether in a pot or in the garden. Rhododendrons need to have lots of moisture in their leaves and roots to prevent shock. If the plant is in a pot water well the night before. If it is very dry, soak in a bucket of water until it stops bubbling or no longer floats. If the plant is balled and burlapped, check the soil around the roots. Some nurseries grow their plants in clay. The clay dries out and the plant can't absorb water. If in clay, submerge the root ball in a bucket of water to loosen the clay and then gently wash the clay away and plant immediately.
2. Dig new hole. Before digging the existing plant, decide where it is to be planted in your garden. Dig the new hole before you take the plant out of the ground. You need to have a hole ready so that the plant does not sit out in the air and dry out the tiny hair roots. It is these small roots that enable the rhododendron to take up moisture and food.
3. Plant rhododendron. After digging the rhododendron take it to its new home that you have enriched with organic matter and plant it slightly higher than the ground level. The soil will compact some after you water it. It is better to plant too high than too deep. Water the soil well and the leaves too. This will help it from drying out. Apply mulch only outside the drip line, where the rain falls off the leaves. Only apply a small amount of mulch. Too much mulch will suffocate the rhododendron. It likes lots of air around its roots. Water again in two to three days.
HARDINESS
Seattle, Cascade and Pilchuck chapters are located in King and Snohomish counties of Washington State. Membership can range from sea level to 1000 feet of the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Hardiness zones (Sunset Western Garden Book) can be 5 (at sea level) marine influence, 4 (eastern part of the counties) cold winter part and 1 (foot of the Cascade Mountains) coldest winters.

SEATTLE CHAPTER
Elepidotes (large-leaf)
'Cynthia'
'Goldflimmer'
'May Day'
'Nancy Evans'
'Purple Lace'
'Purple Splendour'
'Taurus'
'Teddy Bear'
R. auriculatum
R. bureavii
R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum
R. pseudochrysanthum

Lepidotes (small-leaf)
'Arctic Tern'
'Dora Amateis'
'Egret'
'Ginny Gee'
'Maricee'
'Vibrant Violet'
R. augustinii
R. hippophaeoides
R. impeditum
R. kiusianum
R. mucronulatum 'Crater's Edge'
R. oreotrephes
R. racemosum

Deciduous Azaleas
'Cannon's Double'
'Golden Comet'
'Homebush'
'White Lights'
R. occidentale
R. schlippenbachii
R. quinquefolium

Evergreen Azaleas
'Balsaminiflorum'
'Creeping Flame'
'Everest'
'Girard's Hot Shot'
'Hino-crimson'
'Nikko'
'Red Fountain'
'Sir Robert'
'Southern Belle'
'Uni Fune'

Specific to the Seattle Chapter Region
Rhododendrons are air breathers. This means that their roots need air around them. They like light fluffy soil with lots of organic matter. If your soil is heavy and clay-like add lots of peat moss, compost and rotted bark so the soil will hold moisture but drain well. Rhododendrons don't like wet feet or to have the roots standing in water. It's better to plant too high than too deep. If it is planted too deep the rhododendron will sulk and not grow well or bloom as it should.

TO PLANT
1. Water the plant well the day before, whether in a pot or in the garden. Rhododendrons need to have lots of moisture in their leaves and roots to prevent shock. If the plant is in a pot water well the night before. If it is very dry, soak in a bucket of water until it stops bubbling or no longer floats. If the plant is balled and burlapped, check the soil around the roots. Some nurseries grow their plants in clay. The clay dries out and the plant can't absorb water. If in clay, submerge the root ball in a bucket of water to loosen the clay and then gently wash the clay away and plant immediately.
2. Dig new hole. Before digging the existing plant, decide where it is to be planted in your garden. Dig the new hole before you take the plant out of the ground. You need to have a hole ready so that the plant does not sit out in the air and dry out the tiny hair roots. It is these small roots that enable the rhododendron to take up moisture and food.
3. Plant rhododendron. After digging the rhododendron take it to its new home that you have enriched with organic matter and plant it slightly higher than the ground level. The soil will compact some after you water it. It is better to plant too high than too deep. Water the soil well and the leaves too. This will help it from drying out. Apply mulch only outside the drip line, where the rain falls off the leaves. Only apply a small amount of mulch. Too much mulch will suffocate the rhododendron. It likes lots of air around its roots. Water again in two to three days.
HARDINESS
Seattle, Cascade and Pilchuck chapters are located in King and Snohomish counties of Washington State. Membership can range from sea level to 1000 feet of the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Hardiness zones (Sunset Western Garden Book) can be 5 (at sea level) marine influence, 4 (eastern part of the counties) cold winter part and 1 (foot of the Cascade Mountains) coldest winters.


Volume 55, Number 1
Winter 2001

DLA Ejournal Home | JARS Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search JARS and other ejournals