Rhododendrons in the Moscow region: planting and care, the best varieties

Rhododendron is a stunningly beautiful plant, numerous varieties of which delight the eye with a palette of colors and a variety of shapes. However, many gardeners are convinced that this crop is not so easy to grow anywhere other than countries with warm tropical climates. Nevertheless, in Central Russia it is very possible to become the owner of an exotic shrub or tree. Therefore, it is so important to know the varieties of rhododendrons for the Moscow region with photos and names and the peculiarities of plant agricultural technology for this region.

Features of growing rhododendrons in the Moscow region

Although rhododendrons are native to tropical latitudes, they have been successfully bred throughout Europe for many years. In the Moscow region, they also managed to adapt, but their cultivation is associated with some nuances:

  1. It is necessary to choose a variety suitable for growing in a particular region. It must be frost-resistant to withstand the cold winter months.
  2. It is regularly required to mulch the shrub with needles or tree bark. Mulching plays a key role in winter; without this procedure, any kind of rhododendron will not be able to survive until the arrival of spring and will freeze out.
  3. You should not loosen the soil near the bush, since rhododendrons have a shallow root system that can be damaged during the procedure.
  4. Weed removal should only be done manually. In this case, unwanted vegetation is simply pulled out without using the tools at hand, so as not to injure the rhizomes.

In addition to these features, planting and grooming recommendations should be followed. Competent care of rhododendrons in the Moscow region will be rewarded with abundant flowering and well-groomed shrubs.

The best varieties of rhododendrons for the Moscow region

Rhododendrons amaze the imagination with an abundance of varieties and colors. However, not all of them can be successfully grown in Central Russia. In the Moscow region, as a rule, only frost-resistant varieties take root well. And although it may seem that such a restriction significantly narrows the range of plants with which you can decorate your summer cottage, among these varieties there are quite bright representatives for every taste. Below with a photo are just some of the varieties from an extensive list of rhododendrons suitable for the Moscow region


This evergreen rhododendron is a true long-liver among other varieties and has an average lifespan of 100 - 150 years. It reaches a height of up to 4 m even in the Moscow region and stands out for its large leaf plates, the average length of which is 15 cm. Their surface is glossy, dark green, with prominent veins. The underside of the leaves has a pale shade. In late spring, this variety has lilac or white flowers that form numerous dense inflorescences up to 6 - 7 cm in diameter.


The Canadian rhododendron belongs to dwarf deciduous shrubs and is excellent for the climate of the Moscow region due to its unpretentiousness and resistance to temperature extremes. It is a low bush up to 1 m in height and 1.5 m in width. Young shoots of rhododendron of a bright yellow-red color, darkening with age, are covered with narrow pointed and slightly curled leaves of a blue-green tone. The unusual shape of the pink-lilac flowers of the plant, which bloom in May-June, are odorless.


The short-fruited rhododendron, or Fori, is an evergreen native of Asia. In the wild, it can grow up to 6 m, but in the Moscow region this variety has a more modest size - 2 - 2.5 m. Although it has massive leathery leaves, its crown is compact enough and does not need pruning. The Fori variety is remembered for its spectacular flowers, collected in corymbose inflorescences. One inflorescence can contain from 10 to 15 pale pink or white flowers. The flowering period of this shrub falls on June, but this does not happen before the rhododendron reaches the age of 20 years.


The semi-evergreen Ledebour, also known as Maralnik, is able to withstand temperatures as low as 30 oC. This feature allows him to feel comfortable even in the cool climate of the Moscow region and quickly recover after winter. This rhododendron grows up to 1.5 - 2 m, and the period of its flowering is sometimes repeated 2 times per season - in late May and early September. At this time, racemose inflorescences with pink bell-shaped flowers up to 5 cm in diameter appear on the branches with small shiny leaves.


Although the homeland of the evergreen rhododendron of the Smirnov variety is Turkey, it has adapted well to the weather conditions of central Russia, in particular, the Moscow region. Outwardly, it looks like a 1.5-meter shrub with wide long leaves up to 15 cm. During flowering, this variety pleases the eye with red-pink flowers in inflorescences of 10-15 pieces with yellow specks on the petals.


Schlippenbach's rhododendron is considered a deciduous variety that grows up to 4 m in their natural habitat.In the Moscow region, this shrub grows much slower, the height of adult specimens is 1.5 - 2 m.However, this does not at all affect the flowering of the variety. It is abundant and often begins even before foliage appears on the plant. The flowers of this rhododendron have a light purple color and a pleasant aroma. In addition, they have long, slightly bent stamens, up to 10 pieces. The green leaf plates of the shrub are small and smooth, in autumn they are painted in red, orange and yellow shades.


The Japanese rhododendron is valued by gardeners more than other deciduous varieties because of its impressive decorative appearance and is quite suitable for growing in the Moscow region. Its flowering is distinguished by its splendor and lasts from mid-May to mid-June. Rhododendron flowers of this variety, 8-10 cm in diameter, have a bright orange or red color with yellow transitions. On a low, 1.5 m, bush, they resemble bright tongues of flame, which completely hide narrow green leaves under them.

Planting and caring for rhododendrons in the Moscow region

Some plant lovers are discouraged by the tropical origin of rhododendrons, as it seems to them that these exotic shrubs are very whimsical. In fact, this is far from the case, and many varieties of rhododendrons can be grown in the Moscow region even for novice flower growers, if you know how to plant them and what care procedures need to be carried out.

When to plant rhododendron in the Moscow region

In order for the rhododendron to take root well and delight in lush flowering in the conditions of the Moscow region, you should carefully consider the timing of planting the culture. As a rule, the most suitable time for this procedure is spring, when the sun has not yet entered its full strength, but the frost has already passed, and the soil is sufficiently warm and moderately moist. In such weather as in the Moscow region, planting of rhododendrons can be carried out in the fall. The main thing is to do this no later than October, so that the bush has at least 2 - 3 weeks to adapt to new conditions before the onset of stable cold weather.

Important! It is impossible to plant and transplant rhododendrons during flowering and for 2 weeks after it, since during this period the shrubs are weakened and may die when moving to a new place.

How to plant a rhododendron in the suburbs

Half of the success in breeding rhododendrons in the Moscow region depends on the place of their planting, therefore, the selection of the site on which it is planned to grow the plant must be approached competently.

Even the most frost-resistant varieties of rhododendrons are very sensitive to the sun and strong winds, so the planting site should be well protected from drafts and direct sunlight. The ideal planting zone will be the north or northeast side of the house, where the shade from the building will block the plants from the heat. Can also place rhododendrons under the shade of tall fruit crops, oak or pine trees. They will become a natural awning for rhododendrons. If it is not possible to arrange shrubs next to spreading trees, it is worth shading the rhododendrons with the help of special awnings. You can make them yourself using special material that should be fixed on stakes driven into the ground. Such a canopy should be 1.5 times taller than a shrub and have space for ventilation. Lutrasil with a density of 60 g / m2 and spunbond stretched in 2 layers has proven itself well as a shading material in the Moscow region for rhododendrons of all varieties.

Important! Do not plant trees close to rhododendrons of any varieties, the root system of which lies close to the surface. Plants such as birch, chestnut, spruce, linden and maple also constitute an unfavorable neighborhood in the Moscow region.

When choosing a planting site for a plant, it is worth giving preference to elevated areas so that melt water in the spring does not soak its roots. You can strengthen the elevation and prevent its deformation if you enclose the plant with stones.

In terms of soils, these exotic shrubs prefer moderately moist, acidic soil. If the soil in the planned planting site has a high pH level, it must be acidified manually. This can be done in several ways:

  • adding sphagnum peat or heather land to the soil;
  • the introduction of potassium sulfate, superphosphate or ammonium sulfate;
  • adding a mixture of fallen needles, chopped pine and spruce cones to the soil.

Having decided on the site, you can start planting a plant, guided by the following actions:

  1. Before planting, a layer of soil 1 m thick should be removed from the planting pit.
  2. At the bottom, it is necessary to place a drainage made of broken brick or crushed stone 25 - 30 cm high, then sprinkle it with 10 - 15 cm of sand.
  3. Rhododendron must be planted in the ground and covered with an earthen mixture of red high peat, loam and pine needles in a ratio of 2: 3: 1.
  4. When moving different varieties of rhododendron into the soil, it is necessary to carefully monitor so that the root collar of the shrubs is not buried, otherwise the plants will not be able to bloom and will quickly die.
  5. The distance between tall plants should be at least 1.5 - 2.0 m, medium-sized plants - 1.2 - 1.5 m. The distance between low-growing varieties should be 0.7 - 1 m.
  6. Upon completion of planting, the soil around the shrub must be watered and mulched with peat or pine needles, retreating from the base of the plant by 2 - 3 cm.

How to water and feed

In the climate of the Moscow region, it is worth paying special attention to watering rhododendrons of all varieties. These plants are very hygrophilous due to their tropical origin, therefore, during the budding period, they should be provided with rain or settled water 8 - 10 times a month in small portions, so that the moisture constantly soaks the soil by 20 - 25 cm, but does not stagnate. An excess of liquid, as well as its lack, can be fatal for any kind of rhododendron, and therefore, it is worth adjusting the watering regime for plants, focusing on precipitation typical of the Moscow region. But, despite the weather conditions, all varieties stop watering by mid-August in order to stop the active growth of shrubs and start preparing them for winter.

Rhododendrons, including varieties growing in the Moscow region, respond well to feeding, therefore, to ensure healthy growth and lush flowering of shrubs, they should be periodically fertilized. The optimal time for this procedure is considered to be the period from early spring to mid-summer, and, in early March, nitrogen fertilization will bring a lot of benefits, and in June, after exotic varieties have already faded, it will not be superfluous to apply phosphorus and potash fertilizers. A good option for feeding various varieties of shrubs in the Moscow region can be cow dung mixed with water in a ratio of 1:15. The resulting mixture must be allowed to brew for 7 to 10 days, after which it is watered with rhododendrons at the very base.

They stop feeding plant varieties at the beginning of July so that they have enough time to get out of the phase of active growth before the onset of winter.

Important! It is strongly not recommended to use ash, dolomite and lime for feeding rhododendrons. These substances reduce the acidity of the soil, which can lead to signs of chlorosis in all varieties of these plants and to their further death.

How to prune rhododendrons

Rhododendrons of any varieties hold the crown well enough, as a result of which they do not need decorative pruning. However, some connoisseurs of these plants, who wish to give the shrub a more compact and well-groomed appearance, subject them to a similar procedure after flowering.

In the spring, as a rule, before the beginning of the growing season, rejuvenating pruning is carried out. It consists in removing damaged and weak branches of rhododendrons and in shortening last year's strong shoots. To do this, approximately half of the branches of a healthy plant are cut with a sharpened pruner, leaving no more than 40 - 45 cm from the base. This will not only improve the growth of the varieties, but also make the flowering more abundant.

How to cover a rhododendron for the winter in the Moscow region

Adult rhododendrons of most winter-hardy varieties growing in the Moscow region practically do not need shelter for the winter, as they can survive at temperatures down to -25 - 35 ° C. However, many growers prefer to take some protective measures to preserve these plants until spring. This is especially true for young rhododendrons up to 2 - 3 years old, which must be protected from frost, regardless of the variety.

An assortment of shelters for exotic shrubs are sold in specialty stores, but you can easily build them yourself at home. So, dwarf shrubs survive the winter without problems under an ordinary cardboard box wrapped in plastic wrap to avoid getting wet. The size of the box should be larger than the plant itself so that the branches do not come into contact with the cardboard, otherwise there is a risk that the rhododendron will freeze. Holes must be made on the sides of the box so that air can flow to the shrub.

For larger varieties, you can build a small greenhouse for the winter:

  1. Before the soil freezes, metal arcs are installed, which will serve as a frame for the greenhouse. In this case, the distance between them should vary from 40 to 45 cm, and a space of 15 - 20 cm should remain between the arch and the crown of the rhododendron.
  2. As soon as the temperature settles within -8 - 10 ° C, the arcs are covered with lutrasil or agrotex in 2 - 3 layers.
  3. After that, a plastic wrap is additionally placed on the entire structure, since the covering materials tend to allow moisture to pass through.

Important! It is categorically not recommended to cover the rhododendron before frost, since it can vanish due to wet fumes.

When to open rhododendrons after winter in the Moscow region

Removing the shelter from plants after winter, one should not rush. The weather of the Moscow region in March is still quite deceiving, and frosts can come to replace the warm spring sun in a matter of hours. Therefore, rhododendrons should be disclosed no earlier than early April, focusing on the climatic features of the region.

Shrubs are not immediately freed from protective structures.In early April, in warm cloudy weather, they are opened for 5 - 6 hours for airing. At night, the rhododendrons are closed again, leaving gaps on both sides. In the second half of the month, if the soil has thawed by at least 20 cm, the shelters are removed completely.

What to do if the rhododendron is frozen

Often, rhododendrons of the Moscow region, even with a winter shelter, suffer from frostbite. This happens for various reasons, but almost always this can be avoided with the help of competent plant care. If the trouble has already occurred and the bush is frozen, you need to immediately start actions to save the plant:

  1. Affected shoots must be pruned back to healthy wood. This is true for most varieties, except for the small-leaved evergreen rhododendrons, which can re-sprout without pruning.
  2. Spraying the crown with warm water with the addition of Epin at the rate of 10 drops of the substance per 5 liters of water 2 - 3 times with an interval of 4 - 5 days helps well.
  3. The base of the plant must be watered with a solution of Kornevin or Heteroauxin.
  4. Be sure to shade the shrub from the south and west.
  5. The introduction of acidifiers or nitrogen fertilization into the soil will also help to bring the rhododendron back to life.

The implementation of these recommendations should have a beneficial effect on the condition of the plant, provided that the root system of the rhododendron has not died. The main thing is not to rush and use all the funds at the same time, otherwise it will further undermine the health of the weakened bush. Before trying a new method of resuscitation of the affected plant, it is worth waiting 7-10 days after the previous one, observing the state of the rhododendron.

When rhododendron blooms in the suburbs

Frost-resistant varieties of rhododendrons, even in the Moscow region, are distinguished by abundant flowering, if properly looked after. At the same time, flowering times may vary for different varieties, but most of them form buds from the second half of May or early June. In the northern regions, this time shifts somewhat to the middle of the first summer month.

Why rhododendrons do not bloom in the Moscow region

If in due time the plants bred in the Moscow region did not bloom and there is not a single bud on the shrubs, the reason lies in the violation of the agricultural technology of rhododendrons:

  1. Placing a plant in bright light, and not in partial shade, can affect its development. Such shrubs need to create shelter from the sun.
  2. Flowering of exotic varieties may be absent due to the low acidity of the soil. Fertilizers with the addition of iron or chemical acidifiers will correct the situation.
  3. Influences the formation of flowers and insufficiently nutritious soil. Carrying out the obligatory feeding will ensure the healthy growth of the rhododendron.
  4. Regular watering of the plant should not be ignored. Dry soil forces the rhododendron to waste nutrients to maintain life, which suffers from its flowering.
  5. Shrubs that are diseased or infested with pests also do not have enough energy to bloom, so it is necessary to regularly treat them for diseases as a preventive measure.
  6. The decorativeness of the shrub can suffer from crows, which feast on flower buds. A shelter made of light-colored material will help get rid of the invasion of birds.


There are many ways to reproduce rhododendrons, however, in the conditions of the Moscow region, frost-resistant varieties bred by cuttings and sowing are best suited.

Seed propagation is carried out according to the following algorithm:

  1. Seeds are planted in a prepared substrate of 3 parts of peat soil and 1 part of sand and sprinkled with sand.
  2. Cover the seedlings with glass or cling film.
  3. Future plants are placed in a bright, well-ventilated area without direct sunlight.
  4. As it dries, the soil is irrigated with a spray bottle.
  5. Seedlings are ventilated daily for 2 - 3 hours.
  6. As soon as sprouts appear, young rhododendrons are transplanted into larger containers. Greenhouse conditions are maintained during the first year of life, after which the plants are transplanted to a permanent place.

To propagate winter-hardy varieties of rhododendron by cuttings, you will need:

  1. Cut the shoots of healthy two- or three-year-old plants into cuttings 5 ​​to 8 cm long.
  2. Remove all leaves from the bottom edge of the plant material.
  3. Dip the cuttings into Kornevin's solution or another mixture to activate growth for 10 - 14 hours.
  4. Place the shoots in a peat-sandy substrate and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Until the rhododendrons take root, it is necessary to maintain the soil temperature in the range of 8-14 ° C.
  6. With the arrival of spring, seedlings can be moved into open ground.

Diseases and pests

Although winter-hardy varieties of rhododendrons, which are suitable for growing in the Moscow region, are not very susceptible to various pests and diseases, some insects and fungi can cause significant harm to the health of shrubs. Among the most common parasites, the following types are distinguished:

  • shield;
  • spider mite;
  • rhododendron flies;
  • mealybugs.

It is possible to save exotic varieties from such a scourge with the help of specialized insecticides, which are available in the assortment in phyto-pharmacies and gardening stores.

Diseases of rhododendrons are mostly represented by various fungi:

  • rust;
  • rot;
  • spotting.

You can fight these ailments with a solution of copper sulfate. In order to prevent these diseases, they practice spraying plants with Bordeaux liquid in the spring-autumn period.

According to reviews, many rhododendrons, regardless of the variety, often suffer from a disease such as chlorosis in the Moscow region. It develops in those plants that grow in insufficiently acidic soil. To improve the condition of the affected shrub, oxidizing agents or iron-containing fertilizers, such as ground sulfur or Cytovite, are added to the soil.


The presented varieties of rhododendrons for the Moscow region with photos and names are distinguished not only by frost resistance, but also by excellent decorative qualities. If you follow the recommendations for growing, these plants will decorate the site for many years.

Reviews of rhododendrons in the Moscow region

Zybitskaya Olga Igorevna, 35 years old, Zvenigorod

My rhododendrons grow from the northeastern part of the house, the zenith sun does not bother them. But even in early spring, in our suburbs, sometimes it gets so hot that it becomes scary for the flowers. In the first year after winter, she opened them, but did not immediately think of shading them. The buds have appeared, the bushes are in order, but there are no flowers. It turned out that they had dried out under the sun. Now I always put an awning so that flowering does not suffer.

Litvinovich Anna Borisovna, 41 years old, Pavlovsky Posad

Two years ago I bought a Japanese variety Orange Beauty in the nearest nursery - I liked the picture on the package. And it became interesting how deciduous varieties grow in the Moscow region: before that, only evergreens had to be grown. It turned out to grow well! After the winter, the bush came out without problems and turned green for joy. I look forward to flowering!

Watch the video: How to plant a Rhododendron (January 2022).

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