Deciduous native to western North America. Incredibly fragrant blooms where it sweet musky scent touches the nose first before the sight reaches the eye. Its broad distribution lead to isolated pockets which lead to some highly variable populations in flower colour, form and truss size. Can tolerate high pH (8.5) soils. Parent to the vast array of Exbury hybrids. Amazing scarlet-orange fall colour is intense enough to burn the retinas. Deer resistant.
- Seed Count: 25-30
- Collection Date: Dec 2020
- Hardiness Zone: 7-10
- Height and Width: 4m x 4m
- Habitat: Full sun to dappled shade, humus rich very well draining acidic soils.
- Family: Ericaceae
How to germinate Rhododendron occidentale seeds:
Rub peat moss through a 4mm screen to create fine lump free milled peat moss. Add 20/30 filter sand (10% content max) and greensand at 1 tbsp/gallon of medium). Moisten, blend well and fill pots/flats/WHT, tamp firm. Sprinkle seeds thinly on medium surface. Mist well. Give gentle warmth (20-25C). Lightly mist daily. Provide strong indirect light. Clear plastic cover helps maintain humidity and enhance germination /seedling survival by not letting medium desiccate. Seeds should germinate in 10 days. Never let seedlings nor medium dry out nor over water. Prick out when large enough to handle into individual pots and grow on. Shallow rooted. Be warned seedlings have very fine hair like roots and can damage easily. Have pots ready to receive when transplanting to avoid roots from drying out. Cuttings rarely strike, so seed is the best method of propagation.