Marjatta Rhododendron Z4 question

wirosarian_z4b_WIJanuary 29, 2009

I would like to order some of the Marjatta Rhodo's for spring planting in my Z4 yard in a sheltered location. 2 questions---(1) anyone growing them in Z4, how are they surviving for you? (2) different sources give different mature heights, I'm looking at Haaga & Mikkeli, how big are they growing for you in Z4? Thanks.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

I never heard of them referred to as Marjatta Rhododendrons. The hybridizer is a Finn named Marjatta Uosukainen. They are commonly called the Finnish hybrids or Helsinki hybrids. I guess now they are called Marjatta hybrids also.

'St Michel' is the hardiest Finnish rhododendron. It was named after the city of Mikkeli in the province of Savo. It has dense, dark green leaves. The plant is an ideal backdrop for other rhododendrons. Coming into bloom at around midsummer, 'St Michel' is the last Finnish rhododendron to flower. A light down covers young shoots and unopened leaves.

'Haaga' is an upright growing bush that forks well. It has round crowns and grows to a height of 1.5 - 2 metres. The pink flowers feature easily distinguishable darker blotches. 'Haaga' flowers around mid-June. It was named after the city district in which Laajasuo Park is located.

The American Rhododendron Society has the folowing data:

     Haaga, hardy to -20F, 5' tall after 10 years

     Mikkeli (also St. Michel), hardy to -25F, 6' tall after 10 years.

Kristian Theqvist in Finland has the following data:

     Haaga, hardy to -33F, 4.5' tall after 10 years

     Mikkeli (also St. Michel), hardy to -35F, 6' tall after 10 years.

The University of Minnesota has tested them and has the following descriptions:

Rhododendron Haaga
Zones 4-7 - This hardy rhododendron exhibits bud hardiness to at least -29 degrees F. Large bright pink blooms with orange flecks are set against dark green evergreen foliage. A late bloomer to extend the season. Rounded plants grow 5 feet tall and wide.

Rhododendron Mikkeli
Zones 4-7 Pink buds, hardy to at least -29 degrees F, open to lovely white flowers that are flushed with soft pink and speckled on the upper lobe with greenish-brown. Foliage is covered with silvery down. A late bloomer. Grows 6 feet tall and wide.

Hank Schannen at Rare Find Nursery in New Jersey reports:

     Haaga is hardy to -35F and grows to 4' high in 10 years.

     Mikkeli is hardy to -35F and grows to 4' high in 10 years.

Harold Greer at Greer Gardens in Eugene, Oregon, reports:

     Haaga is hardy to -30F and grows to 5' high in 10 years.

     Mikkeli is hardy to -25F and grows to 4' high in 10 years.

These are relatively new plants so the results are just beginning to come in. In more shady areas they grow taller and bloom less. In sunnier areas they are shorter and bloom more. If they are borderline hardy, you want more protection from winter wind and winter sun and partial shade all year.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:39AM
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wirosarian_z4b_WI

Thanks rhodyman for the info. The reason I called them Marjatta Rhodo. was because that is what they were called in the garden catalog I was looking at.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 11:42AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

They are not the only ones. I assume it is because no one knows how to pronounce Uosukainen. I don't either.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:07AM
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