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Rhododendron Rasputin is a medium-sized evergreen shrub. Differs in abundant flowering, and the buds do not fall off the peduncles for a long time. In addition, this variety has the darkest color of flowers of all varieties bred.
Description of the variety of rhododendron Rasputin
It is a hybrid variety that can grow up to 1.5 m in height under favorable conditions. The diameter of the shrub is on average 1.2-1.6 m. As you can see in the photo below, the color of the buds of the Rasputin variety rhododendron varies from pale lilac to purple tones with a burgundy tint and raspberry blotches. The flowers form dense, fairly large inflorescences.
The Rasputin variety begins to bloom in late May and early June. The aroma is inexpressive, weak. Rhododendron fruits are neat boxes with seeds that ripen by autumn.
The leaves of the shrub are bushy, slightly elongated. Their length reaches 15 cm. The surface of the sheet plate is glossy, but dense. The outside is painted in a dark green color, but from the inside, the leaves are lighter. With the onset of cold weather, Rasputin's rhododendron does not shed its leaves, but turns brown, acquiring a golden brown tint of the foliage.
The root system of the variety is superficial and rather compact. Shoots are strong, erect. The bush grows freely and sprawling.
Advice! To stimulate more lush flowering, shrubs are pruned at a young age.
Frost resistance of rhododendron Rasputin
The winter hardiness of the hybrid rhododendron Rasputin is good, it is a frost-resistant variety. The plant survives temperatures down to -28 ° C without negative consequences.
The shrub, on the contrary, does not tolerate heat well if it grows in the open sun. In conditions of light shading and regular spraying, the Rasputin variety can withstand temperatures up to + 29-30 ° C.
Important! Despite the resistance of rhododendron to cold weather, it is recommended to cover the bushes for the first 3 years after planting for the winter.
Growing conditions for hybrid rhododendron Rasputin
Evergreen rhododendron of the Rasputin variety is usually placed in the shade of residential buildings or a fence. In addition, it is recommended to adhere to the following tips when growing a shrub:
- The Rasputin variety is unpretentious, but it is better to plant it in loose soil rich in humus.
- If the groundwater in the area selected for planting is too close to the surface of the earth, it is necessary to equip a bed on an elevation in this place.
- It is important to consider the proximity to other plants. The best neighbors for the Rasputin variety: larch, pine, oak. Despite the fact that these trees have a powerful root system, it goes deeper, so they do not have competition for resources with the rhododendron. The most unfavorable neighborhood: alder, poplar, chestnut, elm, linden, willow.
- Rhododendron Rasputin loves semi-shady places, but you can plant it in open areas. The most important thing is to water the plant abundantly in the sun.
Advice! If it is not possible to avoid unwanted neighborhoods, you can build a protection for the root system of the shrub. To do this, a certain barrier is dug into the ground: plastic wrap, roofing material or slate.
Planting and caring for rhododendron Rasputin
The agrotechnology of growing rhododendron is very simple - it is unpretentious and resistant to adverse weather conditions, and also does not need frequent treatments against pests. Shrub care includes the most basic procedures:
- making dressings;
- shelter for the winter of young plants.
It is impossible to loosen the soil around the bush, much less dig it up. The root system of the Rasputin variety lies too close to the surface, it is easily damaged when loosening. All weeds are removed by hand.
Selection and preparation of the landing site
Rhododendron Rasputin is undemanding to the type of soil. It grows well on almost all types of soil, but well-drained, fertile areas with a high level of acidity are best suited. Before planting, the plants dig up a place for it and add a nutrient mixture from pine litter, loam and sour high peat, taken in equal proportions, to the soil.
The preparation of the site also consists in the fact that water is diverted at the planting site - the Rasputin variety does not tolerate stagnant moisture.
A rhododendron seedling does not need additional processing before planting, however, in most cases, planting material is sold in special containers. Such storage is fraught with some complications.
The fact is that in containerized conditions, the root system of the rhododendron begins to die off when the ends of the roots run into an obstacle in the form of a pot wall. If a container with a seedling stagnates in a gardening store, the dead roots will form a fairly dense "crust" around the active part of the root system. Thus, transplanting a rhododendron into open ground does little to change the situation - the plant is still limited in growth and does not receive nutrients from the ground, since its root system is now in a container of natural origin.
Such fasting can lead to the death of the rhododendron. To prevent this from happening, before deepening the seedling, a little incision is made with its root ball or gently "loosened" it, remove a dense crust.
Rhododendron Rasputin is planted according to the following scheme:
- The earthen lump of the seedling is dipped in a container of water for 15 minutes so that it softens.
- In the prepared area, a planting hole is dug with a depth of about 60 cm and a diameter of 50 cm.
- A drainage layer of broken brick or gravel and sawdust is placed on the bottom of the pit.
- A small hill is formed from the top of the soil mixture. The roots of the seedling are spread along its slopes.
- The root system of the rhododendron is carefully sprinkled with earth to the level of the root collar, after which the trunk circle is slightly tamped.
- The planting procedure is completed with abundant watering and mulching with spruce branches or sawdust.
Warning! A single planting of rhododendron is dangerous because a strong wind can break a young plant. It is recommended to install a support next to the bush and attach the seedling to it. As soon as the rhododendron gets stronger, the support is removed.
Watering and feeding
Rhododendron Rasputin is watered regularly, but in moderation. In extreme heat conditions, it is recommended to spray the bushes daily. In general, about 10 liters of water is consumed for 1 plant in summer 2 times a week, while you can only use warm, settled water. Additionally, you can slightly acidify it by adding a small amount of peat the day before watering.
The Rasputin variety does not particularly need fertilizers, but responds well to feeding. The following fertilizers are best suited for this horticultural crop:
- rotted manure;
- horny flour;
- ammonium sulfate;
- magnesium sulfate;
- potassium phosphate;
The first time the rhododendron is fed in the spring, the last in July. Every time before fertilizing the soil, the plant must be watered.
Organics are used in the form of a liquid top dressing. They take rotted cow dung, mix it with water in a ratio of 1:15 and insist for 2-3 days.
Mineral components are diluted in low concentration, about 1: 1000. It is best to use the following fertilization scheme for rhododendron:
- Before flowering, nitrogen-containing fertilizers are applied to the soil: ammonium sulfate (50 g), magnesium sulfate (50 g) per 1 m2.
- After flowering, rhododendron is fed as follows: ammonium sulfate (40 g) and superphosphate (20 g) per 1 m2.
Important! Chlorine-containing fertilizers and lime cannot be used to fertilize the Rasputin variety rhododendron.
Rhododendron of the Rasputin variety is cut off only if the bush grows strongly, which does not happen often. As a rule, its shoots themselves form the correct silhouette of a shrub.
If pruning is still needed, then this should be done in early spring, before the start of sap flow. All cuts are subsequently compulsorily processed with garden pitch.
Old rhododendrons are pruned so that the branches are no more than 40 cm above the ground.
Preparing for winter
Despite the fact that Rasputin rhododendron is classified as a winter-hardy variety, it is recommended to cover it with dry spruce branches or burlap for the winter. In early spring, the shelter is removed in stages, protecting the leaves from burns from the intense sun.
If the autumn turns out to be dry, the rhododendron is watered abundantly - 10-12 liters for each bush. If it's autumn, as usual, with rains, then you won't have to water the rhododendrons. By November, each bush is insulated in the root zone, laying a layer of peat along the near-trunk circle.
Rhododendron Rasputin can be propagated in almost all available ways:
The seed method is the most unpopular due to its laboriousness and significant time costs. Basically, rhododendron is propagated by cuttings - this method allows you to get a large amount of planting material at a time.
Cuttings are harvested as follows:
- In early August, young shoots are cut from the rhododendron and divided into cuttings of 6-7 cm.
- The lower part of the cuttings is cleaned of leaves and bark.
- Then the stripped end of the planting material is dipped into any growth promoter. Well suited for these purposes "Kornevin".
- After that, the stalk is slightly tilted into the substrate by 2 m.
- Planting material is watered, covered with plastic wrap and stored in the shade. Containers with cuttings are kept in a greenhouse, which must be ventilated at least once a day.
- After a month, the cuttings will form a full-fledged root system. In the spring, they are transplanted to a permanent place.
Diseases and pests
Rhododendron Rasputin is rarely sick, but sometimes plantings are affected by a fungus when the roots of the plant are flooded with heavy rainfall or excess moisture accumulates in the soil after watering. In this case, the shrub is restored with Bordeaux liquid, which is sprayed with the shoots and leaves of the plant.
Of the pests, only bedbugs and rhododendra mites pose a serious danger to the Rasputin variety. It is not difficult to get rid of them - rhododendron is treated with soap or tobacco solution.
Advice! As a preventive measure, the bushes are sprayed with a solution of "Fundazol" or any other preparation with a high copper content.
Rhododendron Rasputin is an evergreen unpretentious shrub that can safely withstand fairly low temperatures. This quality allows you to easily grow it on the territory of most of the country, without fear that the plant will freeze in winter. Rhododendron care is simple and includes basic procedures that even a beginner in horticulture can handle.
For more information on the features of growing rhododendron, see here:
Reviews of rhododendron Rasputin
Igoreva Svetlana Afanasyevna, 45 years old, Moscow
I have been growing rhododendrons for a very long time, this year I saw a photo and description of the Rasputin variety, I really wanted to plant it. The bushes have taken root well, I like everything. There are no insects yet, no diseases. I grow it in the shade, there is no opportunity to water often, and in the sun it needs a lot of water. I do not introduce top dressing, but before planting I applied a little fertilizer to the ground. Flowering, judging by the reviews, is simply magnificent. I can't wait to bloom.
Remizov Gleb Georgievich, 56 years old, Kaluga
The dacha plot stood empty, I wanted to decorate it somehow. I was looking for something unpretentious so as not to bother myself with leaving, trimming, feeding. So far, I'm happy. Rhododendron has grown quickly, does not require much attention to itself. I do not cut it off, it grows for myself and grows. I only water it sometimes. I make sure that no insects start up. Once there were a lot of bugs, I had to spray it with a solution of tobacco. Everything has been fine since then.