The gorgeous blooms of ‘Catawbiensis Grandiflora’ are produced in extravagant clusters in May in a wonderful mauve-blue colour with yellow and orange freckles, making this a striking Rhododendron. The striking flowers contrast beautifully with the glossy, dark green leaves that cover this vigorous shrub all year, growing into a rounded evergreen shrub after a few years. ‘Catawbiensis Grandiflora’ definitely has an exotic look and will look spectacular either planted in blorders or in a large pot as an eye-catching specimen plant. Rhododendrons are low-maintenance shrubs that will perform superbly provided you plant them well and keep them well-watered. Lovers of acid soil, they mostly prefer bright to dappled shade or partial shade, avoiding morning sunlight which can damage buds. As Rhododendron roots are shallow, spreading to sides in search for nutrients, they shouldn’t be planted too deeply – remember that they often grow in shallow cracks on mountainsides. Soil does need to be on the acidic side and rich in humus, cool and always moist which will allow established plants to withstand direct mid-day and afternoon sun. Supplied as an established plant in a 21cm pot, reaching a height and spread of 2m (6½ft).
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