A Few Rhododendron Notes
Clarence Prentice, Seattle, Washington
After reading Dr. Hellers report on the Rock Expedition Seedlings, A.R.S. Bulletin, Vol. 7 No. 3. Page 175, I am sorry that I did not get in my report earlier.
- Rock No. 44 bloomed in 1952 is didymum.
- 52 also didymum, though a few more flowers than no. 44.
- 53 and 54 bloomed in 1953, and both are didymum.
- 178 flowered in 1953, dark lavender blue bloom, and I am unable to classify this plant.
- 127 Thirty or more plants of this number bloomed during the years 1952-53 and were yellow of varying shades and is chryseum.
- 53 I am inclined to agree with the Dr. Heller report that there is an immense variation in habit in this group, and that they are keleticum. Some of these have the dwarfest habit I have ever seen.
My collection of some 600 plants of the 1948 Rock expedition are all growing well and many new numbers will bloom this next season.
I would also like to mention about the R. repens seedlings from Mrs. Greig's plant. This large plant was mentioned several times in A.R.S. Quarterly Bulletins by Mrs. Greig, and I was sorry to read in her last report that it has since died. I planted seed from this plant in 1951 and two years later, 1953, five plants bloomed in early April. There are now 35 plants growing in my lath house and without any special care. Mrs. Greig mentioned they should be grown on a sandstone rock, but in raising my beds I think the same result can be obtained. In mentioning my good luck with this species, blooming them in two years, I will also state that previous to this time I have never been able to keep this species alive for two years. I am convinced that the greatest trouble in the culture of many of the dwarf varieties is poor drainage. Most of the damage occurs in the winter, and I have yet to find a plant that cannot stand an excess of water in the summer, but it is the winter, wet and soggy that really hurts these plants.
Rhododendrons take a long time to show their damage, much as a plant that has been girdled by the strawberry weevil shows no effects until the hot days of June or July. Much the same is applicable to plants afflicted with poor drainage, the real damage will be apparent months later.