Rhododendron kiusianum

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Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  coh on Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:41 pm

Anyone familiar with the species rhododendron kiusianum? My wife bought a very small plant in spring 2010...against my suggestions (it was really small and poorly shaped, and I didn't know anything about the variety). She kept it with her other houseplants through the winter (indoors) and proceeded to over-water it. By early summer this year, the poor thing was almost dead, almost no leaves...so I figured I'd try to rescue it.

Repotted earlier this summer (had almost no roots), put it in a plastic bag for a while...it started growing strongly and produced lots of healthy new growth. I've been told that this species requires a cool/cold dormant period, so I've left it outdoors and allowed it to get down to near freezing. Now almost all of the foliage has turned yellow, except for a couple of the newest leaves at each branch tip. I'm wondering if this is normal behaviour for this species?

Any other advice regarding rhodo kiusianum would be appreciated. I have no idea what specific cultivar it might be, and it hasn't bloomed.

Chris

coh
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Re: Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  drgonzo on Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:47 am

Oh yes Chris they can lose almost all Their leaves and often give excellent Fall color don't worry many Azalea are diomorphic and will loose much of their foliage, usually the colder the winter the more they lose. I am surprised myself at just how stunning the fall colors on Japanese Azalea can be compared to the somewhat boring magenta purple I'm used to with the local garden center cultivars we find around here.

If you put it in direct sunshine starting say October first, as I did with my Kurume this year, the foliage color seems even more pronounced. The rule of thumb I have read with Azalea with regards to wintering is never below 25 degrees and they need light. Mine spend the winter near the west window in my guest house which stays unheated all winter yet remains at about 35 F.

http://www.paghat.com/kyushuazalea.html
-Jay

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Re: Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  coh on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:23 pm

Thanks Jay. The subject in question is in a very small pot and will definitely be spending the winter in my "max protect" room (an unheated mudroom where temps generally stay between 35-40). We'll see how it fares...

Chris

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Re: Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  JimLewis on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:12 pm

The rule of thumb I have read with Azalea with regards to wintering is never below 25 degrees and they need light.

My Satsuki and (one) Kurume azaleas stay out on the shelf exposed to the elements (and temps occasionally in single digits) every winter. They get lots of light, but also get many days and nights below 25 degrees. They've been thriving.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  drgonzo on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:33 pm

JimLewis wrote:
The rule of thumb I have read with Azalea with regards to wintering is never below 25 degrees and they need light.

My Satsuki and (one) Kurume azaleas stay out on the shelf exposed to the elements (and temps occasionally in single digits) every winter. They get lots of light, but also get many days and nights below 25 degrees. They've been thriving.

That temperature minimum was the advice of Dan Trzepacz one of the founding members of the Buffalo Bonsai Society. I think up our way where winter can touch -10F and stay below freezing for literally months at a time maximum protection (particularly from wind) is best. I often envy those a zone or two higher than me who don't have to jump through all the hoops i do to get all the different species through the winter.
-Jay

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Re: Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  drgonzo on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:36 pm

coh wrote:Thanks Jay. The subject in question is in a very small pot and will definitely be spending the winter in my "max protect" room (an unheated mudroom where temps generally stay between 35-40). We'll see how it fares...

Chris

thats a great room to have! lots of half hardy's love that temperature range in winter. It opens the door up for a lot of different species.

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Re: Rhododendron kiusianum

Post  coh on Thu May 30, 2013 4:35 pm

I know this is an old thread, but just wanted to update to say that the plant has survived, is growing well, and bloomed for the first time this spring. I had intended to get photos but didn't get around to it until the blooms were starting to fade (and had gotten rained on), but they still looked nice so I'll share a couple.





As for the plant itself - I have done no styling, just been letting it grow and potting into larger containers to establish vigor. I've got some ideas, but if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know. The trunk does split into 3 roughly equal segments so at least one of those will have to be removed before too long. Probably the whole top will have to be rebuilt but I think I want a little more size on the lower trunk first. Sorry the photo is not the best, I was in a hurry and didn't get the lighting right.


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