• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Rhododendron (Polar Bear Group) 'Polar Bear'

rhododendron 'Polar Bear'

rhododendron 'Polar Bear'

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names rhododendron 'Polar Bear'

  • Family Ericaceae

  • Genus Rhododendron can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs or trees, with simple leaves, sometimes with a dense colourful indumentum of hairs on the lower side, and funnel-shaped, bell-shaped or tubular flowers that may be solitary or in short racemes

  • Details 'Polar Bear' is a vigorous large shrub with mid-green leaves to 30cm in length. Lily-like, fragrant pure white flowers 11cm in width, with a small light green blotch at the base of the throat, are borne in late summer

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H5

Colour

Sunlight

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam, Sand, Clay

  • pHAcid

Size

  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moist but well-drained, leafy, humus-rich acid soil in part shade with shelter; see rhododendron cultivation

Propagation Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer, layering in autumn or grafting in late summer or late winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 8

Pests May be attacked by vine weevil, rhododendron leafhopper, pieris lacebug, scale insects, caterpillars and aphids

Diseases May be affected by various Rhododendron diseases including powdery mildews, rhododendron petal blight, rhododendron bud blast, silver leaf and honey fungus

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