General Culture: Best grown in acidic, humusy, organically rich, moisture-retentive but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers a sun dappled shade. Foliage may scorch in full sun. Acidify soils prior to planting and thereafter as needed. Plant in a location protected from strong winter winds. Good soil drainage is essential (doesn’t like “wet feet”). Poor drainage inevitably leads to root rot, therefore raised beds/plantings should be considered in heavy clay soils such as those present in much of the St. Louis area. Shallow, fibrous root systems (do not cultivate around plants) will benefit greatly from a mulch (e.g., wood chips, bark or pine needles) to help retain moisture and stabilize soil temperatures. Roots must never be allowed to dry out. Clip off spent flower clusters immediately after bloom as practicable. PJM plants do not produce seed.
Noteworthy Characteristics: These hybrids are compact, rounded, small-leaved, evergreen shrubs that generally grow to 3-6′ tall and are noted for having exceptional winter hardiness. Lavender, rose or pink flowers bloom in clusters (4-9 flowers per cluster) in April. Elliptic, hairless, leathery, dark green leaves (to 2.5″ long). Foliage acquires purple tones in winter. These rhododendrons are noted for growing well in the upper Midwest and New England climates. Zones 4 to 8.