Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Transplanting Desert willows in El Paso, TX
August 27, 2009 - We have some volunteer Desert Willows growing on an empty lot nearby. Can we dig them up and transplant them in the yard? If so, how? They are about 3-4 feet tall
view the full question and answer

Timing for transplanting a yaupon in Louisiana
January 01, 2009 - I found a female yaupon growing wild at the back of my property and would like to move it to the front. When should I do this?
view the full question and answer

Impenetrable privacy hedge in Wimberly, TX.
July 26, 2011 - I live near Wimberly, TX. I'd like to grow an impenetrable privacy hedge about 200' long and at least 10' tall and 10' deep (or more) using native plants. I'd like it to be evergreen, drought t...
view the full question and answer

Is the orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) poisonous to dogs?
September 26, 2008 - is the orchid tree (bauhinia) poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Xeric landscaping walls in Mansfield TX
November 15, 2009 - We have two stone, concave 10 ft. high entry walls to our private street. These are each 20 ft. in length and face the west. What xeriscaping accent plants would you recommend. Also, should we crea...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.