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Holden Rhododendron
* images shown are of mature plants

Holden Rhododendron

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Growing Zones: 5-8
Growing Zones: 5-8
Mature Height: 4-6 ft.
Mature Width: 4-6 ft.
Sunlight: Full to Partial Sun
Blooms: Spring
Spacing: 4-6 ft.
Botanical: Rhododendron x 'Holden'
Cannot Ship to: AZ, LA

Head-Turning Spring Color

Few spring-blooming plants can rival the showy display of Holden Rhododendron (Rhododendron x ‘Holden’) in full bloom. Glossy dark-green foliage forms the backdrop for spectacular flower clusters that cover compact shrubs. If you want to add some dazzling color to your spring landscape, you’ll definitely want to put Holden Rhododendron at the top of your must-have plant list!

Freckled Flowers
Rhododendron blooms are so showy because they’re formed in large clusters, also called trusses. Each cluster has masses of individual blossoms that create a stunning visual impact. Each bloom has five petals, and if you look inside the flowers at the top petals, you’ll likely see dark-red spots, which give the flowers a cheery freckled-face appearance! Holden Rhododendron flowers are a delightful shade of rose-pink, which is the result of crossing its two parent plants -- the classic Cunningham’s White rhododendron (white flowers), introduced in 1830, and an Appalachian native Catawba rhododendron (red flowers). What this breeding means to you is that your Holden Rhododendron carries the best qualities of its parentage, making it a stellar performer in your garden!

Hummingbirds and Butterflies
The delicately fragrant flowers are funnel-shaped -- the shape that hummingbirds and butterflies prefer. These tiny winged creatures love the sweet nectar that Holden Rhododendron produces. And because the flowers typically bloom in May, they’ll open just in time to welcome migrating hummingbirds and early-season butterflies to your garden. If you have a wildlife garden (or you’re planning this addition to your yard), Holden Rhododendron is a valuable plant to provide early-season nectar before summer-blooming flowers open. Early-blooming flowers are an essential food source for hummingbirds and butterflies when nectar is scarce.

Heat- and Cold-Tolerant
How can a rhododendron be both heat- and cold-tolerant? It’s all in the breeding. Holden Rhododendron is bred specifically to meet both temperature challenges. During a particularly hot summer, when temperatures reached 90 degrees (or higher) on more than 50 days, the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., rated Holden Rhododendron as one of its best plant performers. This is good news for warm-climate gardeners who’ve found other types of rhododendrons difficult to grow. On the flip side, Holden Rhododendron not only handles the heat of summer, but it’s also cold-tolerant to temperatures that dip to -10 degrees F.

Show it Off
You’ll be so proud to feature Holden Rhododendron in your landscape design, especially after your friends and neighbors admire it. Its mature size will not overwhelm your yard, particularly if you have a small gardening space, because it reaches a tidy and compact shape that’s 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. This naturally rounded shape softens the vertical lines of your home and nearby tall trees. And because it’s evergreen, it retains its lush greenery year-round without leaving bare stems during the winter months. Holden Rhododendron’s rose-pink flowers brighten a shady nook or woodland garden, and it’s a brilliant border plant for the transition from a sunny yard to a shaded area. Among all its versatile design options, Holden Rhododendron delivers its maximum impact in a massed planting; for example, along the boundaries of your yard or lining a shaded driveway.

Understanding Rhododendron “Leaf Language”
Holden is classified as a large-leaf rhododendron, one trait of the prestigious Shammerello breeding program that produced this cultivar. During hot summer days, large leaves can sometimes lose more moisture than a plant’s roots can absorb from the soil, resulting in temporary wilting. During the evening, if there’s sufficient moisture in the soil, the leaves will rehydrate by morning. If they’re still wilted and the soil is dry, watering should perk them up. Temporary wilting of the leaves – when they are able to rehydrate – is not harmful to the plants, but permanent wilting – when the leaves do not rehydrate – may point to a more serious problem. If the soil is moist and the leaves remain wilted and/or curled, your plants may be suffering from root rot, which is a result of too much moisture in the soil, often because of compacted soil that drains poorly.

Essential rhododendron care tip: Rhododendrons don't like to sit in wet, mucky soil... so avoid low areas that hold water. Raised beds or the crests of gentle slopes are perfect planting spots.

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