Classes

Rhododendron Series

Holden Arboretum

Sat. May 15th (10-11:30am) & Wed. May 19th (6-7pm)

Adult - Beginner, Adult - Intermediate, Adult - Advanced

$30 per member, $45 per nonmember

Explore the beauty and wonder of Holden’s Rhododendron collections and learn how to care for them in your home garden.


The first portion of this course will cover the basic information you will need to successfully grow and care for rhododendrons, including ideal site selection and characteristics, planting techniques, seasonal care and maintenance, the primary differences between Rhododendrons and Azaleas, and a demonstration on proper pruning techniques and timing.  

In the second portion of this course, participants will tour Holden’s multiple Rhododendron collections to learn about Lake County’s historical role in Rhododendron cultivation, the history of Holden’s collection, and view significant species within this collection.  

Both programs will take place outdoors, rain or shine. Please come dressed for the weather and prepared to be standing for a longer period of time. Please bring a mask as they are required outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible and a water bottle. Clipboards will be provided for taking notes.  

Register for class

Beth Whipple

Horticulturist

Connor Ryan, MS

Connor Ryan, MS

Rhododendron Collections Manager

As the Rhododendron Collections Manager at Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G), my job is to curate and build the Rhododendron collections across all three HF&G campuses. The genus Rhododendron, which consists of roughly 1,000 total species, contains four groups of plants significant to Northeast Ohio: evergreen azaleas, deciduous azaleas, large leaf rhododendrons and small leaf rhododendrons. This diversity, coupled with the ability of species to freely hybridize within their respective groups, provides ample opportunities to collect and display an array of interesting and rare rhododendrons from around the world. During the growing season, I am most frequently found at the David G. Leach Research Station, a 30-acre facility dedicated to Rhododendron breeding, evaluation, and display in Madison, Ohio. I am actively involved in the Rhododendron breeding program at HFG started by David G. Leach, PhD, and continued by Steve Krebs, PhD. I am interested in ex-situ plant conservation, ornamental plant breeding and evaluation, and plant propagation. Feel free to reach out if you are interested in collaborating or if you want to talk plants.

Learn more about me

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