Peonies forum→Tree Peonies and Rhododendrons?

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Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
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Jasmin
Apr 27, 2021 8:52 AM CST
I've always liked Rhodos, but it turned out they were not doing well in my garden. Several of them died, and at some point, I've stopped buying them. Well, I still love them Lovey dubby Don't get me wrong, TPs are my favorite plants; Lovey dubby my true love. Lovey dubby Still, my garden; that is, my life is somehow incomplete without rhodos. I guess I have too many good memories of rhodos...

In the last five years, I rescued four Rhodos, and surprisingly, they are doing OK. That might be because the soil in my garden has been significantly improved in the last ten years. I've been adding oak leaves and all types of cut branches and old wood for years. Smiling

After our brief discussion on the new rhodo prices (i.e., rhodos for 50$), I went to the Lowes garden center looking for TPs and (impulsively D'Oh! ) bought two small Rhodos for 16$ each (very small pot); both Purple Passion rhodos.

Does anyone grow TPs and rhodos in the same garden Confused ? Is it possible to have them both in the same garden Confused ? Here are several pictures of peonies and other acid-loving plants (i.e., Japanese maples, Rhodos) growing in the same garden (scroll down).
https://www.enchantedgardensde...

What are your thoughts?
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Apr 27, 2021 9:48 AM CST
I love Rhododendrons as well, but do not have too much luck with them. I guess it is dry Toronto summer weather that is not kind to them. I suggest to plant them in a shady place with good moisture ( but not wet!!! ) and avoid winter winds and winter sunburns. In your shade garden they may do well, but I lost a couple of azaleas and the only surviving rhododendron is barely hanging on without supplemental water in my old place. Their roots are shallow, so it is very important to improve soil around them at least 20 cm deep. Rhododendron was pretty good with flowers, blooming long time when I was watering it regularly. Do not plant them in direct sunlight here unless you install watering system for it and cover with burlap in winter.
[Last edited by AlexUnder - Apr 27, 2021 9:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Apr 27, 2021 9:49 AM CST
By the way, Jasmin, did you find any TPs at Lowes?
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 27, 2021 11:34 AM CST
AlexUnder said:By the way, Jasmin, did you find any TPs at Lowes?


No TPs at Lowes; not yet. Hope they will have them soon.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 27, 2021 1:02 PM CST
Here are TPs and peonies together. Thus, it is possible. I'll try to find more pictures like these.
https://www.southernpeony.com/...
https://maryahernartist.com/ga...
https://www.japan-guide.com/co...
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
[Last edited by Jasmin - Apr 27, 2021 1:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 27, 2021 1:04 PM CST
Martha Stewart has them too:
https://www.themarthablog.com/...
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
[Last edited by Jasmin - Apr 27, 2021 1:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 27, 2021 5:40 PM CST
Alex,
I tried all those things that you suggested. And many more. However, it didn't work then. Sad I was losing rhodos one by one. It wasn't about water only. I watered mine, but some of them got some fungal disease in summer. Somehow hot temperatures and plenty of water caused the disease; they wilted and died. Sad

On the other hand, there are plenty of gardens with nice rhodos in my neighborhood. Some of them are huge. Lovey dubby Thus, it was not about watering or cold weather. For example, I saw many, many beautiful rhodos in Dalmatia, Croatia - Mediterranean climate with dry summers (on dolomite and limestone mountains). It is not about cold either. Finland has beautiful rhododendrons. I got one of theirs; it was Haaga. It was doing very well in the sunny spot. When I made some shade to protect it, the poor plant died after a couple of years.

I'll try a couple of things now. Something has changed in my garden. It might be that the soil has been improved. Hopefully, something will work. Crossing Fingers!
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Zone 7b.
DotsFlowers
Apr 27, 2021 7:20 PM CST
I live on Vancouver Island. BC. I have many Rhodos. In fact I have a Tree Peony beside the Rhodo. I have some in shade and some in full sun. I do have a watering system.
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Apr 27, 2021 8:52 PM CST
Jasmin...So the "new" thought is that plants actually make the soil they like around them if they have enough time and are taken care of until they can fix the soil. I wonder if you could put a cheap root of a bush peony near your rescued rhoddie and see how they do?

The Alpine nursery that I got my baby TP from says that TP are actually rock garden plants and rhoddies can take dryish shade with lots of mulch...so maybe the acid/base is not as important as dryish?
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Apr 27, 2021 9:05 PM CST
I noticed all the links are azaleas, which my mother never watered, but rhoddies got some water.

Dot could you post a picture of them together?
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 28, 2021 2:30 PM CST
Sandsock said:I noticed all the links are azaleas, which my mother never watered, but rhoddies got some water.

Dot could you post a picture of them together?


Good point! You are saying it is not about the soil pH, but about water.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find good pictures of TPs and rhodos growing side by side. There was one garden on the local garden tour with gorgeous rhododendrons. Since I was organizing the tour, I had an opportunity to chat with the owners. They thought that the rhododendrons were so successful in their garden because they were growing under a huge, old spruce tree for many, many years. The whole garden was dominated by that spruce tree. They have a TP, but it didn't look good; one or two tall, long branches, and one flower. It didn't look as a bush at all. TPs are not common here, so it's difficult to tell.

Please show us a couple of pictures from your garden, if possible. Thank You!
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 28, 2021 2:58 PM CST
Here is one picture of a rhodo and peonies:
https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/4...

Here are TPs and rhodos in the same garden, except that rhodos are in shade:
https://peony.mbgna.umich.edu/...

And these gardens have both rhodos and peonies. I cannot go to see them because of Covid right now, but hopefully, I'll visit them. They are not far from here.
https://brueckner-rhododendron...

@AlexUnder, have you ever visited Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens?
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Apr 28, 2021 3:57 PM CST
First time I've heard about this garden. Edwards Gardens has plenty of rhododendrons and azaleas, one of my favorites to visit in Toronto. They have a few TPs, but not together.
Name: Shawn S.
Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Morning Glories Annuals Irises Dahlias Zinnias
Orchids Region: United States of America Peonies
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ShawnSteve
Apr 28, 2021 4:06 PM CST
Jasmin, I thought Rhododendron, preferred sandler soil for faster drainage & Azalea like to be planted slightly above the surrounding soil level, also
Don't plant too deeply, then add soil mixed with a finer pine bark, to build up, around the root mass so water tends to be sloped away from it, & they aren't quite as prone to drowning so easily.
Around here, they will often rake up pine needles as cover, annually, to keep roots cooler in the heat, after using pine bark for the initial "mulch", after planting.

Some Azalea varieties, or certain cultivars can tolerate more direct sun easily, than others. Look at flower size, colors, & leaf size as clues.
I've seen the brightly colored deciduous ones tolerate full sun, down here.
Zone 7b.
DotsFlowers
Apr 28, 2021 5:40 PM CST

Thumb of 2021-04-28/DotsFlowers/11b71e

Tree Peony just about to open.
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
Apr 28, 2021 6:46 PM CST
DotsFlowers said:
Thumb of 2021-04-28/DotsFlowers/11b71e

Tree Peony just about to open.


Wow, that's pretty close, and both plants are doing well. Is it your garden? Do they bloom together? You gave me hope Smiling Thank You!

What is a small bush below, on the left side?
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein

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ElPolloDiablo
Apr 29, 2021 8:42 AM CST
I have a very large Gerda rhododendron, but it lives behind the house together with the hydrangeas and hellebores while the peonies live in front of it.
The worst problem I am having is the rhododendron has lost several branches over the years to heavy snowfalls. For the rest nothing to report.

I honestly wouldn't put the two together as large flowered Japanese peonies will eventually "drown out" any blooming by even the showiest rhododendron bar perhaps tropical ones, and you don't want to put those outside until the weather is stably warm.
The Saviour.
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
May 4, 2021 3:35 PM CST
This looks like a big small-leaf rhodo in the background:
http://disport.cnzq.org/upload...
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: David
Youngstown, Ohio (Zone 6a)
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Kestrel36
May 9, 2021 11:24 PM CST
@Jasmin
Having troubles with Rhododendrons also =/........But 2 Purple Passions seem to be doing the best of them.
Azaleas seem ok.
2 Adelmans TP's 5ft from Rhodos planted last fall, are growing like crazy this spring.

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