Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: What is Lapland Rhododendron

Rhododendron has long been a popular choice for family landscape. These plants vary in size and are favored by ornamental gardeners because of their colorful flowers and obvious leaves. In order to really thrive, rhododendron needs acidic soil rich in organic matter. Requirements related to light and temperature changes throughout the season may also be an issue, depending on the planting area. Some species of azaleas have more special requirements for growth. A type of shrub called "Lapland Rhododendron" can only grow under very special conditions. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

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What is the Lapland Rhododendron?

The Lapland Rhododendron, or Lapland Rose Bay, is a small member of the Ericko family. Unlike the more common garden azaleas, the Lapland azaleas represent a broad ground cover in their native habitat. In fact, plants may reach only about 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall when they mature. Lapland rhododendron shrubs are most often grown in rocky soil, producing a large number of pink and purple flower clusters on high leaves.

Planting Lapland Rhododendron

The idea of planting Lapland azaleas may appeal to home gardeners, but this plant is actually very rare. Although it can be found in some areas of the United States, the ideal growth conditions are very limited to these specific areas. Local plants most often grow in the cool areas of the peak and bloom when the snow begins to melt. This includes alpine meadows in parts of Adirondack and New Hampshire.

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Some states have identified Rose Bay in Lapland as a protected and endangered species. It has been found that the accidental damage to Rhododendron in Lapland is most often caused by hikers. As with any rare plant, care should be taken not to disturb any locally grown specimens. This includes illegal removal of plants, collection of seeds, cuttings and/or other plant parts.