April’s plant of the month is the rhododendron.
One of the most spectacular plants you’ll plant in your garden. A majestic large shrub of large, glossy, evergreen leaves for most of the year, in April and May it erupts into a positive explosion of huge blooms in brilliant carmine, pink or pure white.
If space in the garden is limited, though, ‘yak’ rhododendrons (short for Rhododendron yakushimanum) are just as beautiful and free-flowering as their bigger cousins, but grow to no more than 1.5m tall.
Rhododendrons need an acid soil, with a pH of 6 or below to thrive. If yours isn’t perfect, simply plant into containers of ericaceous (acidic) compost. Otherwise they’re easy going: just give them a sheltered spot in dappled shade and damp soil and they’ll produce that wonderful, heart-stopping display for many more years to come.