One of the most frequently asked questions I get here is, “Can I grow XYZ in a pot?” My answer is usually the same, which is to say you can grow just about anything in a pot, as long as its the right sized container, and you are prepared for the extra work of delivering everything the plant needs from food to water to light to air circulation. With spring on the horizon (more distant for others, I know), I thought I would give you a few tips about how to grow this joyful spring bloomer in a container.
Rhodies are lovely evergreen shrubs that comes to life in spring with huge trusses of blooms. They are such a gift that keeps on giving to the sequence of bloom that we all want in our gardens. Once the show is over, rhodies tend to fade into the background, becoming a loose, but still stately green presence. In a container, they’re just about as much billowing color and happy form as you can hope for in early spring, and as the season progresses, they become a useful foil when you surround them with other potted specimens.
Soil, light, food notwithstanding (see below), the trick to successfully growing a rhododendron in a container is to choose a compact, smaller sized plant that will adapt well to the confines of a fairly large pot. Choose a dwarf variety that thrives in your climate for the best results—try to keep within 3 to 5 feet in height. You could, of course, plant yourself a 7-footer in a really huge pot, but maintaining it would be quite the commitment! While just being a container will restrict the size of your rhodie, you can further keep it to a manageable size with pruning (also see below).
If you’re interested in trying to grow a rhodie in a pot, here are 10 we recommend.