Encouraging lush foliage with a rhodo?
Assuming that: a) you have a well chosen variety of rhododendron for your climate and for the spot you've planted it in, and b) you got a good hardy specimen from the nursery - what is the best way to encourage lush foliar growth and secondary and tertiary branches?
Is the secret soil pH, pruning, or nutrient supply (feeding)? Or...?
I've had a few rhododendrons, a couple of which had a bit of a life before deer ate them down to sticks. So I do have some experience. Right now, I'm more interested in a good start to the structure and healthy green growth than I am in blooms... although I appreciate the blooms when they're there. But give me advice about shoots and leaves, please. Thanks.