The September Song Rhododendron (Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3)) Care Guide

The September Song Rhododendron, otherwise known as the Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) or Cut-Leaf Staghorn Sumac, Rhus hirta ‘Laciniata’, Rhus typhina f. laciniata, Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this September Song Rhododendron Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

In order to take proper care of your September Song Rhododendron you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The September Song Rhododendron prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) in an environment where it can receive partial sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the September Song Rhododendron in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your September Song Rhododendron is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

September Song Rhododendron up close

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the September Song Rhododendron belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, the genus Rhus and the species Typhina, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) (roh-doh-DEN-dron).

As with other Rhus’s, the September Song Rhododendron is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The September Song Rhododendron is a plant native to the Eastern North America.

You might be wondering why your September Song Rhododendron’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, A1, A2, A3.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the September Song Rhododendron is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But what exactly does this mean for your September Song Rhododendron? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) can grow up to 9′ – 15′ (270cm – 4.5m) in 9′ – 15′ (270cm – 4.5m) and 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) in 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m). 


In terms of watering, the September Song Rhododendron is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively low to average needs in terms of water. 

September Song Rhododendron care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your September Song Rhododendron in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your September Song Rhododendron is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the September Song Rhododendron prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the September Song Rhododendron requires soil with shallow rocky, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the September Song Rhododendron requires partial sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the September Song Rhododendron will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (mid, late), and during the fall.


You can expect your September Song Rhododendron to flower around the spring and in the summer months from April to June (spring), and from July to September (summer).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The September Song Rhododendron produces some beautiful orange, or green and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the September Song Rhododendron have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a compound (pinnately, bipinnately, palmately) arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

September Song Rhododendron buds

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The September Song Rhododendron is well known for its tolerance to rocky soil, dry soil, drought and animals like rabbit, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) will be fine.


Now, let’s talk garden and how your September Song Rhododendron will look best in it.

Most Rhododendron X ‘September Song’ (H-3) owners agree that this shrub will look great in most asian/zen and cottage gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, coastal garden, and in prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the September Song Rhododendron’s best use for landscaping within your garden is as urban garden, specimen, container, border, hedge, mass planting, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

September Song Rhododendron’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Camellia, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Pieris will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your September Song Rhododendron, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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