The sensational new Southgate Divine Rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘Lisenne Rockefeller’) thrives in the southern heat and truly lives up to its name! Divine features blushing pink buds that open up to porcelain white blooms with sangria purple specks in the center. These long-lasting flowers appear in large clusters that are hard to miss. They’re guaranteed to steal the show for their entire bloom cycle.
The leaves are long, dark green, and leathery. They’re an ideal backdrop for the bright white flowers of the Divine. Furthermore, its foliage is evergreen. So it won’t leave your landscape lacking during the winter months.
These Rhododendrons have a slow growth rate, which makes maintenance a breeze. They stay compact and quite manageable at only 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Plant them as a hedge, an accent, in mixed garden beds, as specimens, or even in containers. However, you use them, they’re guaranteed to keep turning heads for years to come.
Southgate Divine Rhododendron Care
- Hardy from USDA Zones 6-9. They’re much more heat tolerant than traditional Rhododendrons while still remaining just as hardy in areas where they normally thrive.
- Plant in Part Sun to Shade. 1-3 hours of direct sun or all-day filtered sun will produce the best results.
- Water your new plantings 2-3 times per week during the first growing season. They may require more or less water depending on the weather.
- Plant in slightly acidic soil with good drainage for best results.
- Fertilize with a slow-release acidic plant fertilizer in early spring.
How to Plant:
- First, determine your planting location based on the parameters listed above.
- Next, dig a hole three times as wide as the root ball of your plant.
- The hole should only be so deep that your plant sits even with the ground around it. If you have poor drainage, try planting it so that it sits a few inches above the soil around it.
- Mix your native soil with some good quality garden soil or composted manure to enrich your planting location and encourage root growth.
- Compared to regular compost, composted manure doesn’t tend to raise soil pH as much. This is good for plants that like slightly acidic soil.
- Fill the hole back with the soil mixture.
- Now is a good time to mulch and fertilize your plant. Use a slow-release acid-loving plant fertilizer. If there is less than 2-months left until the first expected freeze of the year in your area, use a rooting fertilizer to avoid having your plant produce new foliage that will likely be damaged by freezing temperatures.
- Mulch with 3-4 inches of bark mulch to help your plant retain moisture.
- Water your new planting deeply afterward and then 2-3 times per week for the rest of the growing season depending on the weather in your area (more frequently in extreme heat/drought, less often during wet weather).
Plant Spacing Recommendations
Plant Your Southgate Divine Rhododendron 2.5-3 feet apart for a seamless planting. Otherwise, space plants 4 feet for solid hedges; 6 feet or more for space between plants.
Popular Companion Plants for the Southgate Divine Rhododendron
- Planting a shade garden? Try it with some other shade-tolerant selections, the Marvel Mahonia, Mountain Snow Pieris, and Soft Caress Mahonia.
- Taller plants or trees that create shady spots next to them, such as privacy screens or hedges, create great planting locations for these Rhododendrons to be tucked into. The Empress of China Dogwood and Juniper Trees are good examples of these types of plants.
- It goes beautifully with other low-maintenance partial shade beauties with great texture, like the Obsession Nandina or Mojo Pittosporum.