R. dendrocharis

This rhododendron will not eat you out of house and home. It might reach two feet tall, but then again it might not. What it will do is reward you with fairly large (7/8 inch) flat flowers in ones and twos in bright pink in late March. In the meantime the much smaller glossy leaves serve as the perfect backdrop on a plant that makes a dainty well-behaved little mound. This is a recent introduction from Sichuan that is sure to become a favorite.

R. dendrocharis is a choice dwarf that is free flowering. It grows as an epiphyte in the wild, which means that it was way up in the tree but never growing in the ground. Therefore it does require excellent drainage in your garden. It might well enjoy being planted in a hanging basket, in a nurse log, or you could tuck it somewhere into a tree trunk. It enjoys having a fair amount of sun but doesn’t want to be baked. It should be fairly drought-tolerant once it is established.

It will appreciate small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, gentle watering that keeps it moist and good drainage with well-aerated soil. Works best as a container plant.