En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - September 10, 2008

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Rhododendrons for afternoon sun
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Thanks for your suggestion that I plant rhodedenrons in my Brooklyn garden. In fact, the only bushes I've planted in the past that have survived are rhodedenrons so your definitely right! Here's my problem- the 2 places I want to plant bushes get afternoon sun - one gets about 3 hours of mid noon sun, the other, 2-3 hours of late noon sun and I know rhod. prefer morning sun. Is there a particular variety that you would recommend for afternoon sun? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Although morning sun is preferable, Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't think your 2-3 hours of mid-noon and early afternoon sun will be a serious problem for any of the rhododendrons below, except for possibly, R. prinophyllum (early azalea) which prefers shade (less than 2 hours of sun per day).  The others do well in part shade (defined as 2-6 hours of sun per day) and R. canadense (rhodora) will grow in full sun. However, there are other factors such as soil pH and soil moisture that could make a difference in your success.  Since I don't know what your soil pH and soil moisture is, I can't really recommend one of these species over another.  I can, however, highlight those factors in each of the species:

Rhododendron arborescens (smooth azalea)—part shade and moist acidic soil.  This is a very hardy azalea.

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea)—part shade and dry acidic soil.

Rhododendron canadense (rhodora)—sun, part shade and wet acidic soil.

Rhododendron lapponicum (Lapland rosebay)—part shade and dry limey (alkaline) soil.

Rhododendron maximum (great laurel)—part shade and wet acidic soil.

Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea)—part shade and wet acidic soil.

Rhododendron prinophyllum (early azalea)—shade and moist neutral soils.  This is a hardy azalea.

Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)—part shade and wet acidic soil.

You might check in our National Suppliers Directory for a nursery in your area that specializes in native plants to see what they have available.  They could most likely advise you further about which species or cultivar would best suit your shade condidtions, soil type and moisture.

 

More Trees Questions

Tree with taproot for Jodhpur India
July 05, 2013 - I am a resident of India. I need information of a tree with tap roots to grow in my backyard. We have moderate to hot climate here. It needs to be as small as possible due to lack of space. It'd be g...
view the full question and answer

Installing limestone walkway around trees from Pflugerville TX
June 28, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants:I wish to install a limestone walkway in my front yard, however, there are some roots(~ 1.25 inch) in the designated area. Will this hurt or kill the tree if I cut these away? T...
view the full question and answer

Tree for fast shade in Huckabay, TX
July 31, 2013 - What tree should I plant for fast shade?
view the full question and answer

Encouraging branch growth of live oak trees in Austin
February 10, 2009 - I recently had an elm tree cut down that was crowding out 2 live oak trees in my front yard. The oaks have no branches on the sides that were next to the elm. The elm stump is still there. I need to ...
view the full question and answer

Columnar evergreen for Colorado
July 04, 2008 - I am looking for an evergreen 6-8 (or more) feet tall, very columnar; 3 feet spread in diameter, zone 5, full sun, dark green, clayish-OK soil. Thank you so much!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center