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Plant Of The Month February - Tropical Vireya

 

Add a touch of the tropics to your garden with vireyas, the tropical rhododendron. Well suited to Auckland’s climate, most varieties produce stunning bursts of flowers multiple times a year.

While other rhododendrons also look great, vireya rhododendrons are the type best suited to Auckland’s climate, and are a little more compact (tending to range in height from about 1-1.8m) which makes them a perfect shrub for an urban garden.

 

 

Growing Advice

Position

Full sun to fairly dense shade. Plants grown in shadier spots tend to be less compact than ones in full sun. Protection from the afternoon sun can prevent leaves from sun damage. Prefers free draining, slightly acidic soils.

Planting

Dig a hole around twice as wide and deep as the current pot.

Backfill hole with a mix of your soil, Kings Compost and Sheep Pellets, leaving space to plant your vireya.

Carefully remove the pot and plant to the same depth as it was in the pot.

Care

Mulch with Living Earth More then Mulch to suppress weeds and reduce watering needs.

Fertiliser Feed with Kings Slow Release Rhododendron and Camellia Food. For a natural option, feed with Ocean Grow and Sheep Pellets.

Pruning

Pinch out leggy branches after flowering to encourage shrubs to bush out.

Watering

Water each shrub deeply through the drier months.

 

We have lots of varieties but here are some of our favourites

Tropic Glow

 

Flowers 2-3 times a year providing masses of stunning, orange trumpet-shaped flowers with a golden yellow throat.

Grows around 1.5m

 

Gilded Sunrise

Generally flowers several times a year, producing a mass of gorgeously showy flowers

Grows around 1.8-2m

 

Kisses


This compact-growing vireya is ideal for pots or the ground and produces a stunning display of pale pink flowers.

Grows around 0.9 -1.2m

 

Cherry Glow

New Zealand bred, compact, bushy variety. Produces a mass of large, flat blooms and does best in dappled shade.

Grows around 0.6m

 

Aravir

This fairly tough variety produces an array of delightfully delicate white flowers.

Grows around 1.2m

 

Fire Plum

 

This gorgeous variety produces a mass of deep red flowers.

Grows around 2m.

 

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