plants

Ron

Rhododendron

{ Yakushima rhododendron }

£25.00

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    Every plant is covered by our Patch Promise

    All our plants are hand-delivered to ensure they keep their quality. We will always be here to offer you advice, and ensure you have everything you need after purchase to care for your plants. We won’t quibble about returns. Tell us within 72 hours of delivery - we’ll sort it.

About Ron

Often called the 'King of Shrubs', Ron is a much-loved outdoor plant with a long and dramatic history. Native to Asia, he's been used in traditional medicine since ancient times, despite being potentially poisonous. People have been known to become ill after eating the honey made by bees feeding on Ron - the Ancient Greek historian Xenophon describes witnessing the strange behaviour of soldiers who had eaten honey in a village surrounded by rhododendron.

But there's so much more to Ron than his slightly patchy reputation: he's the national flower of Nepal, where his non-poisonous parts are enjoyed for their sour taste. The Zomi tribes of India and Myanmar are also big fans, and his Zou word - 'ngeisok' - is used in their poetry to signify a lady. It's no wonder why Ron has inspired poetic musings: his luscious pink/white flowers make our hearts swell.

Quick facts

Botanical name: Rhododendron

Plant type: Evergreen shrub / outdoor

Toxic?: Toxic to pets and humans

Current height: 40-50cm

Nursery pot size: 29cm

Pro level: Medium

How to Care for Ron (Rhododendron)

The basics

Ron will be happiest in a spot with dappled shade that's sheltered from strong winds. A spot that receives a few hours of sun is ideal.

He likes well-drained soil that stays consistently moist.

When replanting Ron, don't plant him too deeply - he's a surface-rooting plant, so his roots should be just covered.

Apply around 3 inches of mulch (chipped bark is best) around the surface of his soil, and top it up every spring.

Give him a little shower if there's a dry period; rain water is best, but you can use tap water for a month or two during summer if you run out of rain water.

Going the extra mile

Ron will thank you if you give him a bit of fertiliser when his flower buds swell - just be careful, because too much fertiliser can burn the plant.

When you notice dead flowers, remove them very carefully - next year's flower buds are right underneath. Only prune him right after he's finished blooming.


Things to look out for

If Ron's flower buds turn brown and die, then he may be infected with bud blast. There isn't much you can do to treat it, other than picking off the diseased flowers and disposing of them.

If you notice pale green, reddish-purple or whitish patches on the surface of Ron's lower leaves, you may be looking at powdery mildew. Prune off the diseased shoots, and make sure you're properly mulching and watering your plant. You can also use a fungicide to control the infection - Our plant rescue team can always help with advice in case of an outbreak.

If Ron's leaves become very pale and swollen, he's probably the victim of a gall attack. Remove the infected leaves and destroy them.

Purple or brown spots on Ron's leaves are a sign of leaf spot. Don't pick the diseased leaves off; instead, grab some fungicide to treat the issue.

Yellow spots on the upper leaf surface and dusty orange spores on the underside of the leaf are both signs of rust disease. Some fungicides can control infection.