These are semi-tropical rhododendrons that are mainly
native to the mountains of Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo
and Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.
In their native habitat tropical rhododendron can be found
growing either as epiphytes or terrestrials.
Vireya come in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging
from dwarf size to shrubs and trees of all sizes.
Some tropical rhododendrons have foliage as thin as pine
needles while others have leaves that can grow a foot long.
Their flowers are often fragrant, and are the most colorful
of all rhododendrons. The most common colors include
orange, pink, red and yellow.
When planting Vireya, like many tropical plants,
rapid drainage is of utmost importance. Their roots
run close to the surface and can easily heat up
from the sun. Providing Vireya with good mulch
covering keeps the roots cool.
Vireya like bright light, but not direct sunlight, which
promotes buds set. Planted in shady areas will help
keep their colors bright. They should be protected
from hot midday sun to prevent the burning of
foliage and buds.
Pinching new growth results in more branching.
Regular deadheading of the seedpods is recommended
to direct the plant's energy to bud production.
When you decide to plant your tropical rhododendron
in a pot, smaller is better as Vireya actually perform
better when roots are pot bound.
Use a fertilizer which is designed for plants that
prefer acidic soil which results in healthy foliage
and bud production.
Like other tropical and semi-tropical plants Vireya
can bring you years of enjoyment when you follow
Copyright © Bob Walsh 2011www.howtogrowplumeriafrangipani.com