Rhododendrons: Rhododendron ~ "Virginia Richards"

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by lily, May 7, 2008.

  1. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Today I purchased an absolutely beautiful "Virginia Richards" rhododendron. When I got it home I decided to google it so I could learn how to care for it. I discovered that it is susceptible to 'powdery mildew'. I would like to know if I should return it for a different kind or keep it. I love this one though, it is really pretty. Has any one here ever had one that performed well with getting PM? Is there anything I can do to help prevent this from happening. If it does get it, what can I do? Thanks again everyone.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Our decades old plants which were producing trusses the size of basketballs died within a few years after Mr Mildew arrived on the site.

    On the other hand I recently noticed a couple smaller specimens covered with flowers and living beneath a sign at the entrance to a business.

    I wouldn't chance it myself, but then the thing is they all* mildew! What varies is how badly different kinds (and specimens, apparently) are affected.

    *Heavily indumented sorts are said to fight it off, these are more interesting for having these hairy coatings anyway. So, you might want to try one of these instead of 'Virginia "Mildew Martyr" Richards'.
     
  3. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    You're full of good news for me today aren't you? LOL
    Okay, I've already planted it. I think I'll chance it and keep a watch on it. If it disappoints me well...I'll get you to shopping at the garden centre with me next time.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Spraying is possible but must be undertaken annually and at the right time. Chemicals used must also be rotated to avoid inadvertently selecting for resistance.
     
  5. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for all your help Ron. It's too bad, they are so beautiful.
     
  6. greergardens

    greergardens Member

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    While Virginia Richards does get mildew, I would not take it back. I have grown it for nearly 40 years and mildew is a problem in areas with more humidity, you should be able to grow it in Abbsford, BC if you plant it in an area with good air circulation. We are warmer and drier in Eugene, Oregon, I still feel you can grow the plant as long as you don't put it in a wet shaded location.
     
  7. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Lily, does fine across the river in Maple Ridge, commonly grown around Haney.
     
  8. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Chimera and Greergardens,
    Thank you for your reply. I'm keeping it. It's just way to pretty. I'll watch for the powdery mildew though like Ron said, and I'll look after it as best I can. ~ Thanks again.
     
  9. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Chimera, if it does well in Haney, I think it should do fine here. ~ Thanks
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All specimens I see here of this cultivar are infested. Indeed it seems just about all rhododendrons of any kind in this area now show signs of mildew, when examined. For years the resulting thinning out of rhododendrons here has often been mistaken for cold damage (record winter of 1990) and other problems. What predictions given above for lack of trouble with 'Virginia Richards' are based on I do not know. When I was last at the UBC Lam Asian Garden some years ago mildew and its deleterious effects were much in evidence among the rhododendrons there, so I know it is present in the Vancouver area as well.
     
  11. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron, I'm curious to know why the nurseries are selling plants with signs of PM?
     
  12. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Have seen some cinnabarinum types affected with PM in Vancouver years ago, and what seems to be Boydia insculpta affecting a few rhodos here.
     
  13. lily

    lily Active Member 10 Years

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    Just out of curiosity? Can anyone please tell me some 'names' of possible good choices to select when purchasing a rhodo? I am planning on purchasing one more for my front yard. I wanted to have three altogether. Is it best to purchase a hybrid or species? Are their any rhodies that are more PM resistant than others?
     
  14. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Lily, There are so many and it's likely a matter of personal taste. R. yakushimanum, R. bureavii, R. pachysanthum forms or some hybrids may be good, nice to chose them in flower or when the new leaves are developing for foliage effect. The indumentum is that fuzzy brown or whitish hairy coating on the underside of the leaf.
     
  15. Suze415

    Suze415 Member

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    Can anyone tell me how tall Virgia Richards will grow in 10 years in the PNW? Will it keep going past 5', or want to stay smaller?
     
  16. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    "Can anyone please tell me some 'names' of possible good choices to select when purchasing a rhodo?"

    Why don't you contact (or even join) the Fraser South Rhododendron Society? Fraser South Rhododendron Society | Fraser South Rhododendron Society

    Rhodo societies often have lists of their members' favourite species and cultivars, suitable for the growing conditions in the general area.
     

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