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Rhododendron laetum X zoelleri has large 1-1/2" to 2" salmon-yellow flowers with orange tips in trusses of 6-10. Like all Vireyas it can bloom year round since they are subtropical. Heaviest bloom is in early spring and mid-autumn. They can be grown with regular rhododendrum conditions but also can be grown as epiphytes, either in hanging baskets or mounted on cork. They are cold sensitive and only tolerate light frosts. They also do not like sustained hot temperatures as they generally come from higher altitudes.This adaptability makes the Vireya Rhododendron an ideal subject for cultivation in a temperate climate - the basic requirements of a frost-free growing area and sharply draining compost reflecting their natural environment. They need good air circulation as they can be prone to mildew under stale air conditions.
Vireya species. Small shrub which in nature clings to cliffs by sending roots down into crevices in the rocks. The species has also been described as growing as an epiphyte (i.e. on trees).The species has glossy, oval-shaped leaves about 75mm long. The deep red, bell shaped flowers occur during spring and summer, the exact flowering time depending on the geographical location where the plant is grown. The flowers occur in terminal clusters of up to six. Can be grown successfully in a moist, shaded, well drained position in temperate climates but can be difficult to maintain in tropical areas at low altitudes. It is damaged by frost. The species also makes an excellent plant for growing in a container.
Rhododendron orbiculare is an evergreen shrub with rounded leaves, glaucous beneath, and lax trusses of bell-shaped rose-pink flowers 5-6cm across, in early spring
Rhododendron racemosum is an erect small evergreen shrub with dull green oval leaves glaucous beneath. Bright rose-pink, funnel-shaped flowers 2.5cm in width are clustered along the shoots. Ideal for planting in part shade and woodland.
Remarkable group of rhododendrons. These Vireya rhododendrons (also called Malesians) are quite different from their large, spring-blooming cousins. Many Vireyas, with flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow, and white - often intensely fragrant - are small enough to fit in a tabletop pot. They flower heavily in winter, when their color and scent are most welcome, with repeat bloom several times each year.
You can grow Vireyas indoors anywhere, setting plants outside during frostfree months. Use a fast-draining potting medium. Or create your own mix by blending 1 part peat moss, 1 part ground bark, and 2 parts perlite. Put plants in terracotta containers that are relatively tall and barely wider than the rootballs (Vireyas grow best when they're slightly rootbound. Keep Vireyas in a bright spot indoors during the winter, and move them out into the light shade of a tall tree or covered patio during frost-free months (temperatures lower than 28F can injure or kill these plants). Vireyas like to dry out between waterings. Water by weight, at least at first. Pick up the pot and feel how much it weighs when the soil is nearly dry. Then drench the soil and pick it up again - it will be much heavier. This will give you a sense of how light the pot should be bofore you water again. Water more often when plants are blooming. Most plants will eventually grow at least 2ft tall in containers, increasing bloom as they mature. If they get leggy, occasionally pinch new growth tips to force branching.
The genus Rhododendron of around 800 species can be divided into four major subgenera. Many people are unaware that azaleas are rhododendrons. They have large leaves or elepidotes (without scales)
Species and varieties:
Rhododendron 'Ennepe' (Arendsii-hybrid)
This semi- evergreen azalea cultivar from Japan is unusual for its very narrow leaves. The pink, fragrant flowers are likewise almost strap-like, and appear in terminal clusters of about three.
Rhododendron vaseyi is among the first and most beautiful spring-flowering native azaleas to bloom with masses of light pink bell-shaped flowers on leafless stems. It is endemic to North Carolina in the United States, where it is known only from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hardy to min. -25°C (USDA zone 5-6), perhaps a little more on protected sites.
'August Lamken' is a Williamsianum rhododendronwith bright pink, bell-shaped flowers with frilled margins produced mostly in late May. Its evergreen, rounded to ovate leaves are softer green than on hybrid rhododendrons.