Rhododendron Hits Peak

Few bushes are as spectacular as a rhododendron at flowering peak, and nearly every Northwest garden sports at least one.

Our light pink rhody peaked this weekend. After 10 years in the Northwest, the Rhododendron is so common that I’m desensitized to its beauty. Visitors and newcomers can’t get enough of them.

Blooming wasn’t quite as spectacular this year, as we trimmed it back after flowering last year. It will need a little more shaping in June.

This rhody struggled six years ago. A rouge Lilac was chocking it off, as well as a Nandina on the other side. Two weekends and three yard waste containers later, the Lilac and roots were gone.

In one photo you can see where the Lilac assaulted the rhody. It’s still filling in six years later. A huge bonus is this rhody’s trunk has beautiful form, highlighting the garden underneath.

They have one major drawback. A rhododendron’s spent blooms are incredibly sticky. They glue to shoes and feet, and can be a problem if they make their way indoors.

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