Learn about growing rhododendrons from seed, such as Rhododendron argipeplum, pictured, at the next Green Thumb Garden Tips presentation, held on Zoom on Feb. 11.

Learn about growing rhododendrons from seed, such as Rhododendron argipeplum, pictured, at the next Green Thumb Garden Tips presentation, held on Zoom on Feb. 11.

Growing rhododendrons from seed topic of Green Thumbs presentation

PORT ANGELES — Guest speaker Bob Zimmerman will discuss rhododendron varieties that grow naturally in the wild, how to grow these rhododendrons from seed and why it might be a good idea to do so at the next Green Thumb Garden Series presentation, set for noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.

To attend by computer, go to extension.wsu.edu/clallam and select the crimson button. To listen by phone, call 253-215-8782 (meeting ID: 944 7285 8078; passcode: 778547); login with microphone muted so that attendees cannot hear background noise

In “Growing Rhododendron Species from Seed,” Zimmermann will discuss distribution and preservation of rhodies in the wild, talk about R. macrophyllum, Washington’s state flower, and touch on genetic issues including diversity in the wild type of rhodies versus commercially named hybrids which have no genetic diversity.

A mission of this class is to provide gardeners with the knowledge required to grow rhodies successfully and to inspire them to take on a whole new activity — growing species rhododendron from seed.

Zimmermann said he fell in love with rhododendrons more than 40 years ago and began propagating them on his kitchen stove.

In 1976, he started Chimacum Woods, A Rhododendron Nursery, where he now grows some 300 varieties of rhododendron species, providing a source of seed to garden centers and the general gardening public.

Bob Zimmermann uses a zip line to a remote location in China to view and collect varieties of wild rhododendron.

Bob Zimmermann uses a zip line to a remote location in China to view and collect varieties of wild rhododendron.

Zimmermann traveled with botanists to Tibet, Japan, northeast India and multiple times to China, braving adverse conditions to view rhodies in their native habitat and to collect plants true to the species description.

Sponsored by WSU Clallam County Master Gardeners, the Green Thumb Garden Tips education series sessions provide home gardeners with education on research-based sustainable garden practices in Clallam County. Presentations via Zoom are available from noon-1 pm on the second and fourth Thursday, February through October (November through January, one lecture is offered).

For more information, call 360-565-2679.

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