Rhododendron Dandy Man™ Purple

Rhododendron Dandy Man™ 'Purple'

Cold-hardy through Zone 4!

Item # 37561

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Well, it's about time! Finally, gardeners in Maine, New Hampshire, and other parts of New England can grow and enjoy a beautiful Rhododendron with reliable bloomability and a very cold-hardy evergreen habit! Purple Dandy Man is here to show us what cold resistance looks like -- and we love the view!

This very large, vigorous shrub has R. pseudochrysanthum in its parentage, which is responsible for its tolerance of very cold temperatures. That species is found growing in high elevations in Taiwan, sometimes even above the tree line, so it is perfectly capable of handling the snowfalls of zone 4!

Purple Dandy Man is a magnificent presence in any setting. Expect it to shoot up 6 to 8 feet high and wide, with somewhat stiff, durable green leaves and excellent branching, so that it forms a mounding, rounded silhouette. It will need full sun in northern climates, but appreciates a bit of shade farther south and west.

Best of all, Purple Dandy Man greets spring with big trusses of light purple blooms. Expect anywhere from five to 20 2-inch flowers in every cluster, a rounded bouquet of blooms that butterflies love. Often blooming over Easter, this is one of the standouts of the spring garden.

Purple Dandy Man is very low maintenance, but do be careful of its shallow root system.Mulch it in well, and avoid the temptation to grow anything beneath or in front of this shrub. Once planted, it will not want to be moved. On the other hand, it is long-lived and trouble-free, with excellent resistance to phytophthora, the blight that has troubled some other types of Rhodies.

This shrub blooms on old wood, which means that if you must prune it (and pruning is necessary only if you want to shape the plant; it has a naturally symmetrical habit), do so right after the flowers pass in late spring. It will need the growing season to mature its stems, creating "old wood" for next spring!

Purple Dandy Man was introduced by plantsman Joe Parks, and we are delighted to make it available to Park gardeners this season. Give it a try and we think you will be charmed by its beauty, its resilience, and its evergreen presence in the garden. Zones 4-9.