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Double Besse Rhododendron
Rhododendron 'Double Besse'
Double Besse Rhododendron flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5a
A striking variety with large raspberry red blooms with burgundy spots that cover the branches in mid spring; perfect as a garden accent; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting
Double Besse Rhododendron is covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented red trumpet-shaped flowers with burgundy spots at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has light green foliage. The narrow leaves remain light green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Double Besse Rhododendron is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Double Besse Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
Planting & Growing
Double Besse Rhododendron will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.