Francesca Rhododendron flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5b
This captivating beautiful hybrid is tall growing with buds that are almost black-red as they open; the blooms are a deep carmine red in a spectacular large truss; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil
Francesca 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, which emerge from distinctive dark red flower buds. It has green evergreen foliage. The narrow leaves remain green throughout the winter.
Francesca Rhododendron is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. 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.
Francesca Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Francesca Rhododendron will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. 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. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. 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 foliage 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.