The Q&A Archives: Transplant Rhododendron

Question: We have two rhododendrons that are about 8 feet tall. The trunks are about 3-4" thick. They currently get full sun in the morning and afternoon. We would like to transplant them to the back yard. The conditions are about right (partial morning sun/shade). Would these this well in this area?

Answer: Since the plants have grown rather large in their present location it would seem to be an adequate one. They will have to undergo an adjustment period to adapt their foliage and branching patterns to the new lower light conditions and will become thinner and more open.

Rhododendrons will grow in a variety of lighting conditions, however morning sun is an ideal spot as there is protection from strong sun in the heat of the summer and some protections from the heat buildup and sunburn caused by winter sun reflecting off both the building and in some cases snow. It should also offer some protection from the prevailing winds.

The soil is probably at least as important. It should be acidic and humusy. It should also be evenly moist yet well drained, meaning not soggy.

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