‘Flowers year after year!’: Alan Titchmarsh shares ‘important’ tip to plant rhododendrons

Alan Titchmarsh: Rhododendron planting secrets

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Gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh often shares his plant and garden advice on his Instagram account @alantitchmarshmbe. In a video from April last year, Alan shared how to correctly plant rhododendrons and which soil they prefer. Alan captioned the video: “Rhododendron planting secrets.”

Rhododendrons are not to everyone’s taste but they do make one heck of a splash when they come into bloom – and May is their prime season.

You’ll see rhododendrons in full flower in nurseries and garden centres now, and this is the best time to choose them so you know exactly what you are getting.

In the video Alan said: “Spring is a great time for rhododendrons.

“They are wonderful flowers of the late spring summer period because of its vibrant colours.

“The important thing to remember when you’re planting them is never to plant them too deeply.

“The surface of the root ball needs to be just level with the soil, no more.

“That way it’ll flower year after year.

“Plant them too deeply and they get a bit flower shy.”

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Rhododendrons that have been planted too deeply are often reluctant to flower and can sit and sulk instead of blooming. 

However, this planting technique ensures their contentment. 

Mulching around the plants with a couple of inches of chipped bark will keep down weeds and help seal in moisture.

If gardeners grow them in containers, make sure they are always kept gently moist and never dry out.

Alan also advised which soil best suits rhododendrons for them to bloom.

“Remember also these aren’t things to put in if you have chalky or limescale soil they need acid to neutral earth. 

“If you’ve got chalky ground, plant them in a tub of ericaceous lime-free compost and water them with rainwater and then you get lovely flowers like these.”

Although, for gardeners who garden on acid soil then they can plant them out and give them full rein.

The video garnered a whopping 23,507 views on the social media platform.

The social media post also received lots of positive comments from fans of the gardening expert.

Instagram user @saskiagram8 said: “Thank you for the informative planting tip. Timely as my friend was planting hers too high.”

Another user called @lofthouse.linda commented: “That explains why one did nothing in the soil and so I put it in a pot and it has done better in a pot with not much surface soil than in direct ground.

“It never flowered in the ground but did in the pot.”

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh airs on ITV at 10am.

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