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Five great rhododendron choices for your garden.

Rhododendrons are regarded by many as one of the best flowering shrubs for temperate climates. Although most are evergreen, there are some deciduous varieties. Michael Weishan visited VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, British Colombia, where senior gardener Jerry Gibbons took him on a tour of the garden's famous Rhododendron Walk and selected some Best Bets for your garden.


'Roseum Elegans'

'Roseum Elegans' is one of the best rhododendrons to grow in your yard; it is extremely hardy and can be planted all over North America. A vigorous grower, 'Roseum Elgans' at its full size reaches almost 8 feet tall and is just as wide, making it ideal for an evergreen background or privacy hedge.


'Fastuosum Flore Pleno'

Growing to a height of 6 feet in partial shade, 'Fastuosum Flore Pleno' is another hardy and easy-to-grow rhododendron. Its noteworthy characteristic is its blooms; they are known as double flowers, each blossom consisting of one flower inside another.

Rhododendron occidentale

western azalea

Western azalea is a native to southern Oregon and northern California. Growing up to 10 feet, it prefers a well-drained, moist, acidic soil and looks especially nice when planted in a woodland setting with other rhododendrons.



At a height of 6 feet, 'Saphho' is a leggy evergreen shrub less dense than other rhododendrons. With pruning, though, it fills in nicely as a hedge.



'Homebush' is a deciduous rhododendron that also grows less dense than most. It is a medium-sized shrub, reaching a height of 6 feet. Its blooms consist of a tight cluster of flowers and carry a slight scent in the early morning.

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This segment appears in show #2812.

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Published August 31, 2007