Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PJM 'Elite' Rhododendron

PJM 'Elite' Rhododendron is a Victoria Gardens' favorite shade shrub. They are in stock and in full bloom, and they look fabulous! The flowers look like Azalea flowers, but technically the hybrid shrub is a Rhododendron. The wonderful blooms last April through mid-May, but just before the end of May, the blooms tumble neatly down like autumn leaves.

This self-cleaning habit can be sabotaged by a heavy rain, which mats the flowers to the leaves so the faded blooms have to be picked off, but most years it takes care of itself. The tidiness of the bloom-fall is another plus for this plant, as some of the rhodies need to have the dead blossoms physically removed or the shrub looks messy with brown shriveled flowers.

In the winter the leaves turn a great bronze color. They will grow 2' to 4' tall and wide. The dark leaves have a herbaceous scent. (But don't be fooled, they are not deer resistant!)

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