plants that go with rhododendrons?

bottley(z8 PNW)April 10, 2003

I moved into a house with a large bed that is dominated by 3 large rhododendrons. I'm not fond of rhodos, but these have been here for so long that they would be hard to dig up and are too big to move (about 6' tall).

This area of the garden is quite shady but in summer receives about 5 hours of morning sunlight. What can I plant under and around them for summer colour, preferably perennial?

I am in the Pacific Northwest.

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Rhodos have very shallow, fragile roots. I think I would probably just mulch.

By the way, they are pretty forgiving when cut back, and they transplant pretty easily (in case you decide you'd like to move them after all).

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 10:39PM
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Wendy_the_Pooh(z5/6 NY)

I had to move our over 10-year-old Rhododendron in the fall because I had to make room for a truck delivery of a shed. I like it better where it is now, and it appears to be doing fine. I was am going to put more mulch around it, but I also thought of trying to plant an annual vine like Morning Glory (at the end of May - for zone 5) that could use it to grow on.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2003 at 12:08AM
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I love smaller leaved azaleas mixed in with them, but they bloom in spring too. Another thing you could add would be Hydrangeas,which bloom in summer and come in various sizes and shapes.

Other shade lovers are hostas, which look lice all summer, but don't produce much of a flower. I'm not sure about perenial shade lovers, but you might check out the cottage forum where many use perenials.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2003 at 12:53AM
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astilbe would be nice. pulmonaria. I have a silver one called Majeste that looks great near my rhodies. Coral bells. Daylilies. 5 hours of sun is pretty good. There should be many perennials that will do fine there.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 12:04PM
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I've had some great luck with the rhodies at my parent's house, underplanting them with lily of the valley and the japanese 'painted' ferns. the LoV will grow in DEEP shade, and since the wild rhodies and laurels all seem to have ferns growing near them, it seemed like a natural match.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 12:47PM
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loniesmom(z5 (6?) NE OH)

japanese painted fern; hostas of any kind; heuchera; hardy gloxinia are awesome grouped near the front; lysimachia 'goldi' as a groundcover.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2003 at 6:35PM
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Van_in_NYC(z7 NYC)

Where I grew up in NoCA on the coast, species fuschia grew wild with the Rhodies...

Here is a link that might be useful: species fuchsia...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2003 at 12:58AM
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ooh- fuschias and Rhodies? what a match- Van, they're houseplants around here- but I could put them in their baskets on short pedestals, and get the same effect- you're a genius!~

    Bookmark   June 12, 2003 at 12:15PM
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I have about 30 Rhodys. I have found that violets work well around them. I also mulch and the violets just keep growing and their fragrance is wonderful. They don't bloom all of the time but mine are blooming right now and will bloom some off and on all year.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 10:48PM
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