Native Region: China
Rhododendron fortunei 'JGS007'
Zone Range: 6-9
Preferred Climate: Semi sun; well draining humus rich acidic soil.
Harvest Date: Tuesday 13 December, 2011
Seed count: 25-30
Beautiful scented flowers are welcome in any garden but more so from a Rhododendron as it is so uncommon. Rhododendron fortunei and their hybrids are hard to surpass for fragrance. Pale pink trumpet shaped blooms open from dark pink buds in sequence so you can enjoy its sweet scent over an extended bloom that lasts for weeks. Lovely leaves. Sinuous branching. Mature plants reach 4 meters tall with an equal spread. Park your garden bench nearby in May.
Funny thing about it scent is that if you're a smoker, you can't smell the sweetly fragrant blooms. Another good reason to quit. All members of the Genus Rhododendron are shallow rooted and must have moisture retentive acidic humus rich soil. Never lime or overfeed. Prune immediately after blooms are spent as next year's flowering buds are formed over the summer on new growth. Another aquisition by the late Ted and Mary Grieg, renowned plantpeople. Worthy enough to establish in their personal garden.
To conserve space and improve germination rates, use 10-15 cm deep nursery pots. Each pot is large enough for 50-100 seeds. Prepare two types of medium. Bottom layer: equal parts moist finely milled peat, coarse sand, and perlite. Germination layer: finely milled moist peat moss. Fill pot half way with the first and gently firm then add the second until 2 cm from the rim (allows growing space for seedlings). Gently tamp firm. Ensure medium is moist, place prepared pot in a tray of warm water. Your fingertip should tell you if the medium is well hydrated. Drain excess moisture. Evenly sow seed on the surface. DO NOT COVER SEED. A fine mist will settle seed on the germination surface. Stop misting when seed has full contact with medium. Maintain humid conditions via plastic cover. Seed need 20 C and darkness to germinate. Donít let the germination layer dry out or become too soggy. Should germinate in 2-8 weeks. Provide light when seedlings emerge. Feed with dilute fertilizer via misting. Prick out and harden off when seedlings have 2-4 sets of true leaves.