Percy Wiseman Rhodo

janeoMay 17, 2008

Hello -- Nice to know you are out there.

I purchased 3 Percy Wiseman rhodos and am about to plant them this morning. Now it appears there is great difference in opinion about how large they will get --- anywhere from 2'-5'! Makes a big difference in my intended location....Does anyone have experience? Also, will deer find them tasty? Thank you very much. In Philadelphia.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Height as stated is an estimate of the height of the rhododendron when the plant reaches 10 years old. Always approximate, fertility and amount of shade will also influence the shape of your plant.

This Yak hybrid should be a little wider than tall when mature - at 10 years, approximately 3' tall, 4' wide.

Deer don't bother them here, but with no snow cover to speak of, our deer don't get overly hungry. A hungry deer will eat almost anything, including rhododendrons. Squirrels sometimes pick the flower buds.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:40AM
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janeo~I just purchased one myself today. They had three, maybe I should've snapped them up? I am new to rhodies, but pictures online were so tempting. These didn't look so hot, so I really took a leap of faith.

How do you properly remove the spent flower clusters? I pruned mine by cutting off the cluster at the little stem in the center. Some of these had guard petals, I left those intact. Is this the right way? Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:25PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Removing the seed pods after a rhododendron blooms is called deadheading. It is not necessary. People used to think it was important to the vigor of the plant, but today it is mainly done to improve looks and in some cases to remove diseased areas. If and when deadheading is done, it is important to not disturb the new shoots that are coming out around the seed pod. My website has photos of how to dead head. Just go the the site below and click on "Sanitation & Deadheading".

Here is a link that might be useful: How to grow rhododendrons and azaleas.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 11:41PM
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Great photos, thanks rhodyman! Good to know I was doing it right. I did it because it looked like hell. I am planning to plant this in the ground. Deadheading is also done here in the midwest to take energy that goes into flowering and put it into growing roots. Of course, this is a moot point when the plant is finished blooming for the season. This one is done, right?

So what I referred to as "guard petals" are new shoots? Kewl.

Now I'm not so sure Percy Wiseman will be winter hardy for me. I don't want just (evergreen) leaves, I would like it to bloom every spring. Please tell me if anyone grows this successfully in zone 5, while I can still return it. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:17AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Yes, Percy Wiseman is a spring blooming rhododendron that blooms once each spring. It may produce spotty blooms in the fall if you have weird weather patterns.

There are two things that can be called guard petals. Sepals are the coverings on the flower bud that open into scales behind the petals. There are normally several additional buds around each flower bud that open into new shoots and leaves.

Percy Wiseman is considered hardy to -5F to -10F. That is not an ideal Zone 5 plant. Zone 5 is -10F to -20F. I doubt that you will be happy with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Percy Wiseman

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 10:37AM
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Sadly, I'd come to that conclusion already rhodyman. Is 'Roseum Elegans' my best alternative? I am looking for a compact evergeen with similar foliage.

I'm pretty sure I left next year's flower buds intact, they're long and green, they look soft but they're stiff? They were at the sides of the spent trusses (fast learner, eh?) :)

At least I took good care of Percy. He looked thankful for the trim and the cool drink I gave him. I hate to see him go!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 11:21AM
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hey, i planted three small percy wiseman last spring, this year one has grown really nicely and is in full bloom, the other two (in more shaded areas) really haven't grown at all... plant variation? or is it the sun the healthy one gets? do these guys like half a day of direct sun?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:53AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Hi Jawoodruff,

I think what happened to the plants before you planted them may be having more of an effect that where you planted them. For example whether they were root-bound, got dry, got too wet, got sun burn, etc. Usually shade leads to tall spindly growth, not no-growth. Usually more sun leads to more flower bud formation and more compact growth. The sun will also cause the plant to be ahead of those in shade. Those in shade may catch up.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 12:36PM
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