Dahurian rhododendron or wild rosemary is a perennial, flowering shrub. The plant belongs to the heather family, reaches a height of 2-3 m. The decorativeness of the bush is given by a highly branched, spreading crown, which in the middle of spring is covered with large purple flowers. Seeing once a flowering shrub in natural conditions, everyone wants to plant an unpretentious plant in his personal plot.
Description of Daurian rhododendron
Daurian rhododendron is prone to strong branching. The plant forms from 20 to 50 vertical, thin, brown colored shoots.
Flexible branches are covered with oval, glossy leaves, painted in dark olive color. The leaf plate is small, up to 4 cm long, no more than 1 cm wide. The plant has one feature - foliage appears only after flowering.
At the end of April, the bush is covered with brightly saturated flowers, up to 5 cm in diameter. The color of the petals can be scarlet, purple, snow-white or lilac, depending on the variety. Flowers open at the same time and are located at the tips of the branches and in the axils of the leaves. After flowering, a small seed capsule is formed.
Important! During flowering, the plant gives off a strong, pleasant scent that attracts bees. Therefore, the Daurian rhododendron is considered a good honey plant. But honey collected from the bush has laxative and hallucinogenic properties.
Under natural conditions, Daurian rhododendron grows in deciduous and pine forests. During flowering, the place becomes fabulous and magical. Tourists, seeing such magical beauty, do not hold back and pluck flowering branches and even dig up young growths for planting in the country, not suspecting that by doing this they cause serious damage to the species. For this reason, the Daurian rhododendron was included in the Red Book and is protected by law.
Daurian rhododendron is widely used to decorate a personal plot. Thanks to the medium-sized shrub, it is possible to improve and diversify the landscape design. The plant looks good:
- in rock gardens;
- with conifers;
- next to juniper and ornamental fern;
- in group and single landings;
- flowering shrubs can be used to make a beautiful hedge.
Important! Daurian rhododendron begins to bloom from the age of 3.
Winter hardiness of rhododendron
Daurian rhododendron is widespread in Eastern Siberia, Transbaikalia, Northeastern China, the Far East, Primorye and Sakhalin. A perennial shrub grows in deciduous and pine forests, where undergrowth is formed. The plant is shade-tolerant and frost-resistant, can withstand temperatures as low as -45 ° C. In Russia, the Daurian rhododendron is often called the Siberian wild rosemary.
When rhododendron daurian (wild rosemary) blooms
Dahurian rhododendron begins to bloom in late April and lasts until the second half of June. There are varieties that bloom much earlier. The flowers of the bush are bright, the color depends on the variety, but basically the bush turns purple-pink every spring.
The cultivated Daurian rhododendron is distinguished by its lush and long flowering, which lasts up to 50-60 days. Funnel-bell-shaped flowers are located exclusively on the upper part of the shoot.
Is the Daurian rhododendron poisonous
Daurian rhododendron (wild rosemary) comes from the Old Slavic "wild rosemary", which means "to poison." This is because all parts of the plant are poisonous. Essential oils contain ice-breaker poison that damages the nervous system. During flowering, the shrub exudes a heady, intoxicating scent that causes headaches and dizziness.
Despite the fact that the plant is poisonous, it has medicinal properties and is used in folk medicine.
The healing properties of Daurian rhododendron
Young leaves and flowers of rhododendron are used as medicinal raw materials, which are dried under a canopy at a temperature of + 50-60 ° C.
Medicines made from flowers and leaves of Dahurian rhododendron can be beneficial and harmful to the body. The preparations made from the plant have a bactericidal, diuretic, antipyretic, sedative and analgesic effect. Infusions and decoctions, prepared on the basis of rhododendron, relieve swelling, relieve shortness of breath, palpitations, and lower blood pressure.
Medicinal properties of Daurian rhododendron:
- Healing baths help with neuroses, radiculitis.
- Infusion of flowers is recommended as a sedative, sleeping pill. It can be used for colds and cardiovascular diseases.
- The broth is prescribed for diseases of internal organs and is used as a diuretic for urolithiasis.
- Tincture of flowers and leaves relieves joint pain.
- Dahurian rhododendron tea helps with migraines and sore throats.
Important! Preparations based on Daurian rhododendron are not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation, for people with tissue necrosis and chronic kidney disease.
Dahurian rhododendron varieties
Rhododendron Daurian medium-sized, perennial shrub. Thanks to the painstaking work of breeders, many varieties of flowering shrubs have been bred, which differ in shape, size and color of flowers. The most famous:
- April domination is a low-growing variety with double, pale pink flowers. The plant has the earliest flowering, the first buds appear in mid-April.
- April snow is a low-growing, winter-hardy variety with snow-white, double flowers. Early flowering, comes in mid-April.
- Elite is a beautiful hybrid bred by crossing the Daurian rhododendron with the Karolinsky rhododendron. Rhododendron Daurian elite is a tall shrub, reaches a height of 4 m. The variety is frost-resistant and fast-growing. At the end of April, the plant forms a lush crown of bright pink flowers.
- Chess is a slow-growing dwarf hybrid, up to 1 m high. The plant forms small, bright pink flowers that bloom in the first half of summer.
Growing conditions for Daurian rhododendron
In order for the Daurian rhododendron to please with its flowering for a long time, it is necessary to create favorable conditions for its growth and development. Since the bush has been growing in one place for about 50 years, it is necessary to approach with all responsibility when choosing a place. Daurian rhododendron prefers:
- a well-lit place without direct sunlight and drafts;
- rain and melt water should not stagnate on the site;
- groundwater should not be located on the surface;
- Daurian rhododendron prefers to grow on nutritious, loose soil with high acidity;
- you cannot plant a plant next to buildings, as they create a long-term shadow.
Planting and caring for Daurian rhododendron
Daurian rhododendron is unpretentious in cultivation and care. Subject to agrotechnical rules, the shrub will delight you with abundant, lush flowering, which occurs in the last days of April.
Selection and preparation of the landing site
Before planting a young rhododendron, it is necessary to prepare the site 3 weeks in advance. Site preparation for landing:
- A landing hole 50x70 cm in size is dug at the selected place.
- The bottom is covered with expanded clay, broken brick by 10-15 cm.
- For mass plantings of Darsky rhododendron, the planting rate should be 2 plants per 1 sq. m.
- Next, the pit is 1/3 filled with nutrient soil. If the soil is clay, then use a purchased substrate for azalea or independently prepared from peat, leaf turf and needles, mixed in a ratio of 2: 3: 1. 70 g of complex mineral fertilizers are added to the finished soil.
- The well is covered with dark plastic and left for 2 weeks.
- After the earth warms up well, the film is removed, and the hole is spilled until the earth absorbs moisture.
It is better to purchase dahurian rhododendron seedlings in a nursery, at the age of 2-4 years. Before buying, you must carefully inspect the seedling. You need to choose strong, viable young plants that have whole roots without signs of rot and healthy, brightly colored shoots. The seedling should not show signs of rot and mechanical damage.
If the seedling is purchased with a closed root system, it is spilled abundantly before planting. And specimens with open roots are kept for 12 hours in water at room temperature with the addition of a root formation stimulator.
Planting rules for Daurian rhododendron
A seedling with a straightened root system is placed in the prepared hole. The plant is carefully sprinkled with nutritious soil, tamping each layer so as not to leave an air space. The planted plant is spilled abundantly, the trunk circle is mulched. Coniferous sawdust, straw, foliage are suitable as mulch. It will stop the growth of weeds, oxidize the soil, retain moisture and become an additional organic top dressing.
Important! In a properly planted seedling, the root collar should barely protrude above the soil surface.
Daurian rhododendron is unpretentious in care. To obtain a lush and abundant flowering, you must follow simple rules:
- top dressing;
- preparation for winter;
- prevention of diseases.
Important! Due to its cold resistance, Daurian rhododendron can be grown in the North-West region and in the Moscow region.
Watering and feeding
Watering the rhododendron is done as the top layer of the earth dries out. In hot dry summers, irrigation is carried out 2-3 times a week with warm, settled water. Hard water negatively affects the root system, so experienced growers recommend softening it with citric acid or vinegar (100 g per bucket of water). In order for the plant to be saturated with moisture, up to 20 liters of water are consumed under each bush.
Important! To maintain the acidity of the soil, sulfuric acid must be added to the water.
After watering, do a superficial, neat loosening and weed removal. Weed grass takes up nutrients and is a carrier of diseases and pests.
For abundant and lush flowering, root feeding is necessary:
- For the first time, 10 kg of rotted manure or compost is introduced at the beginning of the growing season. Organic matter is necessary to build up the green mass, for the formation of buds and the formation of flower buds of the next year.
- The second feeding is carried out immediately after flowering. To do this, use phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, diluted strictly according to the instructions.
Important! When using complex mineral fertilizers, it is necessary to give preference to those that contain a minimum amount of chlorine, lime and phosphoric acid.
Daurian rhododendron does not need to form a crown, since the plant has a genetic basis for the development of the correct decorative form. Pruning is carried out sanitary and anti-aging. Shoots from old bushes are shortened, leaving a length of 30-40 cm from the soil surface.
After flowering, all faded brushes are promptly removed. Since they spoil the decorative effect and interfere with abundant growth and future flowering. Pruning must be done keeping the axillary bud on the top sheet. In order to avoid the attachment of diseases, pruning is carried out with a sharp, sterile tool, and the cut points are treated with brilliant green or covered with garden pitch.
Preparing for winter
Daurian rhododendron is a frost-resistant culture that can easily withstand frosts down to -40 ° C. An adult plant does not need shelter, except for abundant watering, mulching of the trunk circle and feeding with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. In order not to lose a flowering variety, it is only necessary to cover a young seedling for 2-3 years, until the bush gets stronger and grows a powerful root system. For this:
- the seedling is spud with peat or rotted compost, while closing the root collar;
- spill abundantly with warm, settled water;
- fed with wood ash;
- the crown is tied with agrofibre or roofing material;
- the shelter is removed in the spring, only after the soil has warmed up.
Is it possible to keep the Daurian rhododendron at home
Dahurian rhododendron is not recommended to grow at home. Since the plant is poisonous and exudes a strong, sweet aroma during flowering. Regularly inhaling the smell of flowers, the nervous system loosens, regular headaches and dizziness occur.
Advice! As a home plant, flower growers recommend purchasing a flowering azalea, which is considered a relative of the rhododendron.
Reproduction of Daurian rhododendron
When you purchase one plant, seeing its beautiful flowering, you always want to propagate it in order to turn the garden plot into a spring, blooming carpet. It is not difficult to root a Daurian rhododendron, even a novice florist can cope with this. There are 3 ways of propagation: by seeds, cuttings and branches.
- Seed reproduction is a laborious and long-term occupation. Therefore, it is not suitable for beginner florists.
- Offsets are an affordable and effective breeding method. In spring or autumn, the strongest, healthiest shoot located closer to the ground is chosen on the bush. The lower leaves are removed, the upper ones are shortened by ½ the length. The prepared shoot is laid in a trench, leaving the top above the surface of the earth, to a depth of 4-6 cm. To speed up the process of emergence of roots, the earth must be moistened and mulched. For 2 years, the young plant can be separated from the mother bush and planted in a permanent place.
- Cuttings - in June, after flowering, cuttings 10-15 cm long are cut. The lower leaves are removed from the planting material, and the cut is made at an acute angle. The stalk of rhododendron is set at an angle of 30 ° into the nutrient soil and removed to a warm room, regularly making sure that the soil is always moist. After 1.5 months, the cutting is transplanted into a large container and transferred to a cool but bright room. 2 years after the seedling gets stronger and grows the root system, it can be transplanted to a prepared place.
Diseases and pests
Daurian rhododendron has strong immunity to diseases. But if the agrotechnical rules are not followed, the bush often affects the following diseases:
- Chlorosis - the disease appears with stagnant water, lack of nitrogen and potassium. The first signs of a fungal disease are the appearance of yellow spots on the leaf plate. Treatment consists in spraying the shrub with ferrous sulfate solution.
- Necrosis - the disease often appears on young plants, with sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Root rot - the shoots become soft, the leaves acquire a dull ash tint, dry out and fall off. The disease often appears when growing a bush on clay, poorly drained soil. In order not to lose the plant, it is transplanted into a light, nutritious soil.
Of the insect pests for rhododendron, the following are dangerous: mealy worm, weevil and slugs.
Very often, flower growers when growing Daurian rhododendron are faced with some problems:
- Leaves dry and fall off - this is due to a lack of moisture. The leaf plate is first twisted, then dries up and falls off. To avoid such a problem, the soil under the plant must be shed to a depth of 15-20 cm.
- The foliage turns yellow and falls off, these signs indicate nitrogen starvation.When growing a shrub on sandy soil, the foliage becomes smaller and brighter, the growth of the plant slows down, flower buds are not laid. At the end of summer, the leaf plate acquires a lemon color, dries up and falls off. To prevent the appearance of this problem in the spring, the bush is fed with nitrogenous fertilizers.
In order not to face serious problems and not to lose the Daurian rhododendron, it is necessary to eliminate some factors:
- increase acidity;
- carry out regular watering and feeding;
- plant the plant on light, drained soil, in a well-lit place;
- before wintering, treat with fungicides.
Daurian rhododendron is a viable, perennial, hardy long-liver. With the right place, the plant can grow and delight with its flowering for about 50 years. Thanks to the spreading, highly branched and lush crown, the shrub will adorn any corner of the garden.