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P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron

Rhododendron 'P.J.M. Checkmate'

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P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron (Rhododendron 'P.J.M. Checkmate') at Blomidon Nurseries (1970) Limited

P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Group/Class:  P.J.M. Series


A dwarf, slow growing cultivar of P.J.M. with showy lavender-pink flowers in spring on a compact habit; very hardy, with interesting burgundy winter leaf color; must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting

Ornamental Features

P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron is covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented lavender trumpet-shaped flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches from early to mid spring, which emerge from distinctive fuchsia flower buds. It has dark green evergreen foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. The small narrow leaves turn an outstanding burgundy in the fall, which persists throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

P.J.M. Checkmate Rhododendron will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It has a low canopy. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fall Color  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features