Rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs. The leaves of the rhododendron plant will stay various shades of green all year long. In the spring, the rhododendron plant will bloom with brightly coloured flowers. The flowers will last throughout spring adding colour to a garden when most flowers have yet to bloom. The rhododendron does best in acidic soils and in a shady area. This type of shrub needs to grow where soil drainage is excellent or in a raised plant bed. The rhododendron's roots are very sensitive to standing water.
Dig a hole using a small garden shovel. The hole should be smaller than the root ball of the rhododendron plant.
Place the root ball of the rhododendron shrub into the hole. The top of the root should be 2 inches above the soil level. You may need to add or remove soil from the hole until you reach the proper planting depth. This is extremely important; do not plant a rhododendron too deeply.
Pack a thin layer of soil on top of the root ball to cover the delicate root system.
Soak the area surrounding the rhododendron plant with water. The area around the plant should be moist; do not allow the water to puddle around the plant.
Fertilise the plant using a 6-10-4 fertiliser. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application of the fertiliser. Only use fertilisers formulated specifically for acid-loving plants.
Place a 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant. The mulch should slope in a downward direction toward the root of the plant. This is so water will run into the plant's roots and not away from it.
Water the plant in the spring and summer. Taper off watering in September, so the plant has time to harden before winter.
If your purchase a rhododendron plant in a burlap sack, you can plant the sack with the rhododendron plant. Protect your rhododendron plant from heavy winds using a fence or other large shrubs or trees.