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MA zone 5-6. Best variety for my needs.

Posted by anitje none (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 14, 12 at 23:28


I am thinking of planting rhododendrons in a 20 foot long row between my home and the neighbors, as a privacy screen to block the view of all the junk in the neighbor's yard. The space is fairly shady though it does get partial sun. Moisture, as is typical in New England, is variable....we sometimes have very wet weather and sometimes very dry, any time of year. The soil is not waterlogged or particularly sandy, as far as I can tell.

The local garden center has the common variety Roseum elegans, which seems like it may work, since I can buy fairly large plants to begin with and the maximum height is listed among the larger ones available.

Please let me know if there are other varieties of rhododendron that may serve my purpose better, be more aesthetically pleasing, grow faster, etc, or if the R. elegans is a good choice. Or if I would be better off with plants other than rhododendrons.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: MA zone 5-6. Best variety for my needs.

The species you listed above roseum elgans is pretty common in MA and do fairly well in both zone 5 and 6. I use to live in zone 6, just outside of Boston and now I am more northwest and in zone 5, and my rhodies have done well in both of these zones.

English Roseum and Nova Zembla are the two varities I grow now, but they do take a long time to get to the height where they would provide privacy for you.

Have you ever thought about Aborvitaes? They create a great privacy screen and if you purchase them at about 5 feet, they should grow faster than the Rhodys. They will also provide privacy in summer and winter, just like the rhodies will. It's all a matter of what you prefer.


RE: MA zone 5-6. Best variety for my needs.

Thanks, Linda!

The problem with arbor vitae, from what I have been told, is they need more sun to thrive. I am considering pyramidal yews for the same reason....they tell me they need less sun.

RE: MA zone 5-6. Best variety for my needs.

PJM is hardy & very popular here (5a). I have Pohjola's Daughter, but it is a slow grower. There are a bunch developed by the University of Helsinki that should be reliable for you.

RE: MA zone 5-6. Best variety for my needs.

You could try Rhododendron Maximum - That's supposed to be one of the hardiest, and it's certainly one of the largest Rhodos. It can bloom in full shade, although it grows a bit leggy.

I've got a 'Boursault' rhododendron that seems to have done fairly well so far - It's a Catawba hybrid, so it should be fairly hardy.

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