Rhododendron ferrugineum, commonly known as Alpine Rose, alpenrose, snow-rose, or rusty-leaved alpenrose is an evergreen shrub that grows just above the tree line in the Alps, Pyrenees, Jura and northern Apennines. It may grow up to 3 ft. (100cm) tall and produces clusters of rose-pink to crimson, bell-shaped flowers throughout the summer. A profuse bloomer that is attractive all year long.
Botanical Name: Rhododendron ferrugineum
Common Name: Alpenrose, Rostblättrige Alpenrose, Alpine Rose, Azalea
Type: Perennial / Evergreen Shrub
Flower Color: Rose-pink to crimson
Flowering Period: May - June
Plant Height: 3 ft (100 cm)
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Water Requirements: Moist
Soil Requirements: Well-drained
USDA Zones: 3-8
Sowing Instructions (Cliff Notes Version): Sow seeds at 64-72F (+18 to +22°C) and keep moist for the first 2–4 weeks. After this period the sowing must be kept at a cold temperature (between –4 and +4°C) [between 25 and 39°F] for another 4–6 weeks.
It is beneficial to cover the sowing with snow during the cooling period. The temperature below it usually keeps in the optimum range of –4 to 0°C [25 to 32°F]. The sowing is kept moist, and the melting snow helps to destroy the shell, which is advantageous for the germinating seedling. After this cooling-period the sowing may not be immediately exposed to high temperatures. The most effective temperatures are between +5 to +12°C [41 to 54°F], even if germination has started. The best location for this sowing, even in March, April and May, is the open field, the cold frame or a cold greenhouse.
Where not hardy, lift in autumn, pot up, and overwinter in a cool, dry place at 45F (7C). Seeds can also be sown at 55-61F (13-16C) in late winter.
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