Rhododendron 'Purple Gem'
Description: Dwarf low, compact mound shape with masses of dainty bright clusters of blue/purple flowers in April/May. New shoots are a lovely silvery blue and the foliage has an aromatic scent.
Uses: Ideal for smaller garden or large containers in ericaeous soil.Ideal for massing under the canopies of trees for edging borders and for small gardens and courtyards
Climate/Position: Dappled shade prefered.
Height/Spread: Only 60 x 60cm in 10 years.
Soil Requirements: Rhododendrons prefer soils with a low pH/ peaty soil or ericaceous compost to avoid chlorosis or yellowing of the leaves.
Pruning: Generally avoid pruning. Flower stalks can be pinched out (by finger and thumb rather than secateurs) when flowering is complete.
Special Requirements: Applying a mulch regularly around the plant will help moisture retention in the soil. Where plants struggle a little if not grown in soil with low pH, then Rhododendrons will always benefit from an annual feed of sequestered iron to ensure the plants do not suffer from iron deficiency which is indicated by interveinal chlorosis or yellowing of leaves between the veins.
Additional Interest: A Guy Nearing hybrid which crossed minus Carolinianum Group x fastigiatum, a sister to Rhododendron 'Ramapo'.