Sometimes we get too wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of daily life and don’t take time to stop and appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us. That is where the stunning Lemon Ice bush comes in. Rhododendrons hold an important place in the garden environment for a variety of reasons. The dense foliage of the Lemon Ice can provide a safe haven for an abundance of wildlife, ranging from fluttering butterflies to playful families of chipmunks. As a design element, this species of rhododendron can provide size and color contrast to areas of your landscape that might be barren or boring. Its moderate height allows you to use it as a backdrop against a building or to hide away an unsightly fence. The Lemon Ice also grows to a reasonable width at maturity, making it ideal for filling in those larger empty spaces around your property. As with many rhododendrons, Lemon Ice is able to provide year round beauty that is sure to enhance your landscape throughout the changing seasons. From its flowers and foliage to its height and width, this beautiful shrub can meet many of your gardening needs.
Lemon Ice was first cultivated in 1867 by hybridizer J. Standish in Surrey, England, using an unknown seed parent and the rhododendron ponticum as the pollen parent. The result is the gorgeous Chionoides species we have today. Lemon Ice is suitable for locations within USDA plant hardiness zones 4-7. It’s cold-resistant enough to survive the harsh winters of Minnesota and Montana, but it can also tolerate warmer southern locations down to Oklahoma and Virginia. This species is not suitable for locations outside of this range due to its intolerance of extreme subzero temperatures or the severe heat and humidity found in the lower states. The rhododendron prefers rich acidic soil that is moist and drains well. Soils that are sandy, extremely dry or of heavier clay type will need to be mixed with compost or peat moss to make it suitable for planting. The Lemon Ice variety has a shallow root system and is subject to drying out quite quickly if there will be extended periods with no rain. You will want to ensure regular watering during these dry days. Adding a thick layer of mulch to the base of the plant can also help maintain moisture levels and prevent the root system from getting too hot. Lemon Ice is a shrub that likes sunlight but it also enjoys the shade too. You will want to choose a location that can provide ample sunlight during the cooler hours of the morning or evenings, but offer enough shade that the plant will not suffer during the hottest time of the day.
Most varieties of rhododendrons are fairly maintenance free and Lemon Ice is no exception. Even the most novice of gardeners will find this particular shrub to be an easy addition to their garden or landscape design. Its adaptability to various soil conditions, and tolerance of most of the weather it’s likely to experience, makes it an ideal choice compared to other types of plants with similar foliage features. Aside from regular removal of any dead or dying branches, leaves or flowers, the only thing you will need to keep an eye on is the amount of water it receives during the driest parts of the year. As mentioned above, adding mulch can make this task much simpler. If you are interested in the shrub having a more uniform look you can prune back new growth. However, many gardeners prefer to let their shrubs grow naturally and allow them to take on their own shape without interfering. Because this is an exceptionally hardy plant with a robust size, Lemon Ice will not require shelter from strong breezes and is also resistant to many of the most common pest infestations. Even though the shrub is not subject to any major plant diseases, checking the plant several times a year can help prevent any possible damage from becoming life threatening. Rhododendrons tend to live a very long time; ideal conditions can produce a shrub that will last your lifetime then go on to please several generations to come.
Of the many hundreds of rhododendron varieties, you will be hard pressed to find one that can match the simple yet beautiful elegance of the Lemon Ice. Whatever project you have in mind for this shrub, whether it is to fill an empty space or to create a sturdy natural hedge, Lemon Ice will not disappoint. Here at the Tree Center providing quality products is our top priority. We work directly with our plants’ growers to guarantee our inventory only contains the highest quality specimens. If at any time while you are browsing our site and have a question or comment, please contact us at 1-888-329-0140 and any of our experienced staff will be more than happy to assist you.