En Español

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

Irish Strawberry tree care from Sydney Australia
April 15, 2012 - Hi I have an Irish Strawberry tree - AKA Arbutis Enedo. I have had it for a couple of years now, I have it planted in the ground quite healthy soil, I feed it Dynamic lifter (chicken manuare/pellet f...
view the full question and answer

Brown spots on native oak trees
June 16, 2015 - Hi, My native live oak trees are declining. The leaves have small brown spots that increase in size until the leaf dies and falls off, then the branch and then the entire limb. I have not watered the...
view the full question and answer

Willow Tree Early Leaf Fall
May 14, 2015 - I have a weeping willow tree and it put out great leaves this Spring and looked great, but now here in the middle of May all the leaves are turning yellow and falling off like it does in the fall. So ...
view the full question and answer

Are Eastern White Pine suitable for Waxhaw NC
February 13, 2011 - Pinus strobus ( White Pine )- I wish to plant four of these evergreens along our property lines as a screen. Our county is selling one foot plants in a container. Our soil is clay. Are these t...
view the full question and answer

Need options for smaller trees in neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
May 25, 2012 - Please discuss smaller tree options for typical Austin neighborhood yards. These houses are built close together on the sides, and only have smallish back yards. They just don't have space for big 50...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center