Facts about Rhododendron plant. The Rhododendron is a variety of flowering plant that belongs to the genus Rhododendron of the Ericaceae family. It is an evergreen plant or a small tree with a flashy display of bright pink flowers. The Rhododendron plants are largely found in China, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Even though the plant has turned out to be an extensively developed plant in the British Isles, the Rhododendron plant is native to the Nepal Himalayan ranges, where the flower of the plant is the national flower. The tree is the state tree of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Its name indicates "tending to be wooded or developing in a treelike shape". Rhododendron: the name comes from the greek word "rodon" it means "rose" and "dendron" means "tree", and the name Rose Tree. The Rhododendron flowers are usually produced in compact cluster.
In Sri Lanka the Rhododendron plant is recognized as Maha Rath Mal, Maha ratmal, and Asela mal in the Sinhala language. The name "Rathmal" is habitually used for the Ixoras in the Sinhala language, which do not belong to the Pink Rhododendron family.
Features of Rhododendron plant
Rhododendron is a flowering tree, which is capable of growing to a maximum height of 66 feet (20 meters) even though usually the tree occupies the area of 36 feet (12 m) x 36 feet (12 meters). The family of Pink Rhododendron holds the credit of the biggest Rhododendron in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The leaves of the Rhododendron flowering tree are dark green in color with a length that ranges from 3 inches to 7 inches (7 cm to 19 cm). The leaves of the tree appear with a silvery, brown or fawn hairy beneath the outside layer.
Rhododendron offers flowers during the early spring middle part and during the last part of the spring season. The pink colored flowers of the tree assume the shape of a bell and they bloom in a bunch of 15 to 20 flowers. The length of these flowers ranges from 1.25 inches to 2 inches (3 cm to 5 cm) and a breadth of 2 inches (5 cm). The flowers of the tree contain black nectar pockets and black colored spots inside.
The Rhododendron tree has great resistance to heat and disease. The plant requires a good drainage and it performs well in acidic soil. However, Rhododendron prefers damp, well-drained soils with a pH that ranges between 5.5 and 7.5, and it needs fertilizer during the spring season to grow well. Trimming the plant after flowering will assist the plant to grow well. These plants can perform well both in full sun and partial sun.
A unique mixture of toughness, heat forbearance and root rot confrontation makes the Rhododendron plant a garden workhorse. Pink flowers decorate this gorgeous, dark green, well-branched plant during the early mid-season flowering time of the tree. Mostly, the Rhododendron is planted with spacing between 72 inches and 108 Inches (1.8 meters and 2.7 meters) to grow well.
Rhododendron plants are vulnerable to rhododendron, vine weevil, and azalea whiteflies, lacebugs, leafhoppers, scale insects, aphids, caterpillars, powdery mildew, honey fungus, bud blast, rust, petal blight, leafy gall, silver leaf, lime-induced chlorosis and phytophthora root rot.
Mostly, the Rhododendron plants are used as border plants, scenery and can be used as a sample or focal point.