In the Garden Now: Rhododendron ‘PJM Elite’

Sunday, April 3, 2016

PJM Elite Rhododendron

Text and Photo by Victoria Gilleland

Rhododendrons tend to be healthy, easy to grow shrubs in the Northwest, so we don’t always give them the respect that they deserve. After all they are reliably evergreen, put on a fabulous flower show in spring and are available in a wide variety of flower colors, plant sizes and habits. On top of that they actually thrive on our acidic soils and mix well with the native plants we like to include in our gardens.

This PJM variety blooms earlier than many rhododendrons with smallish clusters of intensely colored lavender pink flowers. Shrubs maintain a compact shape and form and may grow to 5 feet tall and wide although this one has been kept more compact by regular pruning after flowering. The small leaves of this variety are a glossy dark green which takes on a purplish cast in fall ….. an added color bonus.

Grow this handsome shrub in a container, mixed border, or even as an informal blooming hedge. I’ve noticed that many more flowers are produced and fall and winter foliage color is better if plants have at least part sun exposure. Some PJMs I’ve seen growing in shade are pretty stingy with their flowers.

Consider this gorgeous easy to grow early spring bloomer for your garden. You’ll love that extra burst of color in the garden.

(Botanical Name:  Rhododendron ‘PJM Elite’)

Victoria Gilleland is the owner of Cottage Garden Designs, a Garden Design company specializing in Redesign of Residential Gardens, Garden Consultation and Coaching. She has been designing gardens in the northwest for over 20 years.


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