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Rhododendron Drum Major
Item Details
Rhododendron Drum Major
Item Name
Rhododendron Drum Major
Item #
Payless Plants
Payless Plants
Unit of Supply
2.5 lit. HP
Annual Production
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Rhododendron Drum Major


Short Description
Bright blood red flowers in a large compact truss on an open plant. Early to mid season. 3m+.


More Information
Parentage: R. griersonianum x R. arboreum ssp. arboreum
Breeder: Rothschild 1936

A large growing Rhododendron not suited to a smaller section, but very suited to a woodland or lifestyle block. Our original stock plant was acquired via the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve in Taupo (with permission) sometime back in the 1980’s. A great plant which makes a bold statement in the garden. Grows like a small tree which turns fiery red in flowering season.


The number one requirement to grow good Rhododendrons is quality top soil. Avoid clay and sand like soils.

When planting dig a hole wider than seems necessary so the soil will be soft and friable around the root ball. The roots of Rhododendrons are like fine filaments and will struggle in solid hard packed ground. For this reason, Rhododendrons planted in a lawn area may struggle especially in a dry season. After planting water in well to settle in and to remove air pockets. It is a good idea to cover the soil surface around the plant with humis to retain moisture - though do not use lawn clippings.

After planting and one good watering it should not be necessary to do any more watering, except in drought like conditions. Do not water every day, and even worse, several times per day.

Rhododendrons can be susceptible to mites and a few other pests. For best results spray with an insecticide in spring to keep new growth clean and vibrant. An alternative to insecticide is to use summer oil, or even a bit of dish wash liquid well diluted in water. Apply using a sprayer, or even a watering can with a rosette.

After flowering is finished remove dead flower heads to tidy up the plant. While old flower heads will fall off by themselves over time, removing dead heads will improve the appearance.

Bright blood red flowers in a large compact truss on an open plant. Early to mid season. 3m+.
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