I'm interested in planting rhododendrons this fall/winter. Just curious if you know the best place that would have healthy plants at a reasonable price.
Well, it might be worth a shot to check out your local Lowes if you haven't already. I went into one looking for Azaleas for a specific project and found they put all their 1 gallon Rhodies on sale half price to make room for Christmas. They were all bushy and healthy looking...found 6 different varieties and pretty much bought everything they had.
As far as a good plant nursery we don't have any around here so I can't recommend one. Good luck.
For evergreen types, I have seen several varieties at HD, but rather pricey, I thought. If you want Native Azalaes, Lazy K Nursery in Pine Mountain, GA(near Callaway Gardens) is the best source for wide selection and price.
Thanks for your help! I've read that Rhododendron catawbiense is more adaptable and is more rugged overall. Perhaps that's a good place to start. I'll try Lowe's or Home Depot just to see what they have...I agree they're too pricey for me.
I'm not sure Lazy K Nursery would carry the mountain varieties, would they? My house is in the woods with limestone rocks (on the edge of the ridge and valley region) so I want it to look like a mountain home!
You're right, ordinarily they are too pricey. But with the 50% off they were only $2 to $3 apiece so I couldn't resist.
I don't think they normally sell any natives though so those may not be what you're looking for.
You will need acidic soil to successfully grow Rhododendron's. Some sun exposure promotes better flowering.
McCorkle Nursery (wholesale, Deering, GA) grows 8 cultivars of Rhododendron catawbiense and they sell to HD & Lowes.
Monrovia Nurseries also sells two cultivars, 'Boursault' & 'Album'. Some of their retail dealers in the Birmingham area, are; Pikes, Andy's, Oak St. Garden Shop, Leaf & Petal and Myers (Pelham).
I would check around to see what is available, at a good price. I have seen these at HD, in 3gal for about $30. Way too much money! If they have them at half price, that would be more reasonable. But they don't own the plants, so the wholesale nursery would have to authorize any markdowns.
Good luck! :Rb
Barbara, call the Bham Bot. Gardens. They can give you the name of a contact from the Rhodie Society. He/she can tell you the best varieties for your area and where to get them.
The Rhododendron Society - Azalea Chapter has compiled a list of good performing species & cultivars for most areas of the Southeast and some of the sources of plants.
Go to their website (below) and click on S.E. Performers for the list. It is divided by state/area.
They also list sources, by state.
I only have a few evergreen Rhodies, R. chapmanii (Endangered species) and a couple of yaks. Really prefer the Native Azaleas and the Satsuki hybrid Azaleas.
Here is a link that might be useful: Azalea Chapter
As Barbara G suggested, Lazy K has many varieties and all are grown for this zonal area. I have bought many native azaleas varieties from them. They are, literally, next door to Callaway Gardens so the trip is a gardener's delight.
I am in Anniston and have 11 of the 15 Eastern US true natives growing in my yard and all are doing very well.
For regular Rhodies, I have gone to the NE Alabama nurseries and have done well. There is a R. festival in Mentone each Summer if you care to wait.
Thanks everyone for the great information! I'll look around at some of the local places and definitely think about looking at Lazy K or perhaps near Mentone.