Rhododendrons are beautiful flowering plants that come in a variety of colors. There are many different rhododendron varieties, and each one has its own unique look. If you’re thinking about adding a rhododendron to your garden, here is some information on the different types of rhododendrons available.
Rhododendron Varieties – Types of Rhododendrons
Consistently rated as one of the most durable selections, the compact Anah Kruschke Rhododendron is a knockout with long-lasting spicy magenta-red flowers opening from showy purple buds in spring. If you love the gorgeous leaves and blooms of broadleaved evergreen Rhododendrons but suffer through long, hot, sticky summers, take a look at this variety.
Use this wonderful broadleaved evergreen variety as part of a mixed foundation planting or backyard landscape plan. Be sure to leave enough room for it to spread to its mature height and width. You won’t want to prune it and miss any of this fantastic floral show.
Get the best from this beautiful Rhododendron variety by selecting a well-drained site in dappled light shade. These are low maintenance, but they definitely need good draining soil. Sandy loam is great, but clay? Not so much.
If needed, create a berm or raised bed 18 inches tall, and amend the soil in that bed with both pine fine compost and perlite pellets. Did you know you can improve the drainage of your soil by either creating a raised bed or by “mounding up”? You’ll also “mound up” when planting your Rhododendron, the planting hole should only be about 2/3 as deep as the soil level. Leave about two inches of the root ball sticking up above the new soil level, then cover the whole thing with a deep layer of acidic mulch (pine needles are great!) Never let the mulch touch the stem of your plants, just heap it in a circle all around that stem.
The larger scale of Lee’s Dark Purple Rhododendron (Rhododendron x ‘Lee’s Dark Purple’) can be used as a flowering hedge. Create “living walls” for a relaxing outdoor room.
The show starts early in spring. Plum-colored buds develop on long trusses above attractive dark evergreen foliage. Keep your eyes open for this special harbinger of the new growing season.
Watch as the delightfully clear, luminous amethyst violet blooms open. Every bloom is highlighted with a honey-colored “splotch” for added depth.
The broadly funnel-shaped blooms attract brilliant hummingbirds and butterflies alike. Lee’s Dark Purple is a great nectar resource for helpful pollinators, as well.
With a great branch structure, the overall look reads like a compact shrub. You can keep it tightly pruned or allow it to grow out to its broadly mounded, upright glory.
Springtime with Rhododendrons blooming in the landscape is a joyful experience. This variety gives you plenty of pretty “flower candy” in late springtime.
End your Rhododendron flowering season with Boursault Rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘Catawbiense Boursault’). This low-maintenance variety features brilliant, clear blue-violet petals daubed with brick reddish or pale brown markings.
These are simply flower factories in the late mid-season of Rhododendron flowering. You just can’t miss the way these bright violet buds open to clear lavender-blue blooms!
You’ll also love the way the round-shaped trusses are held prominently above the leathery leaves. Each eye-popping cluster usually contains about 17 flowers.
Rely on this elegant Rhododendron year-long. One of the “Ironsides” series, this is a reliable evergreen plant that gives your garden structure in wintertime and a fabulous color display in spring.
In time, it will grow into a dense, upright, and spreading flowering landscape asset. They’ll perform beautifully in both cold climates, sun, and high heat with the right light and soil conditions.
Rhododendron lovers get really excited for spring, and all you need to do is look at the pictures of the blooms to understand why. The selection Honey Butter Rhododendron is a total dream, with brilliant, multi-colored blooms.
Smooth yellow throats brighten into orange, then turn seashell pink along the perimeter of the petals. From a distance, the whole thing reads as coral, but up close? You’ll delight in spending time studying this unique colorway. Every flower is a one-of-a-kind creation. Who needs the beach sunset when you have these plants?
Plant several of these in a low, curving hedge along your patio, or grow them in large containers near a comfy seating area. You and your guests will want to spend time nearby. You’ll stop calling the season “Spring” and start calling it by the right name, “Rhododendron Time.”
Attractive foliage stays on all year, which you’ll love. This is a fantastic shrub, but it does need fast-draining, acidic soil for best performance.
Sandy loam is perfect. But clay soil? Ugh, not so much. Improve the drainage by creating a mound or raised bed 18 inches tall. Amend the soil with pine needle soil conditioner, peat moss, and perlite pellets.
Plant them high, with several inches of root ball showing above ground. Then, “mound up” around them with pine mulch without touching the stem. Keep these evenly moist. This is a very shallow-rooted plant, so please pull weeds just as soon as you see them appear.
If you’re looking for a dynamic addition to your landscape, and crave deliciously deep color, the Polarnacht – or Polar Night – Rhododendron is for you. Layer this with evergreens to add a sense of mystery and privacy for Meditation Gardens, or near patios.
Rich, vibrant wine-colored flowers develop on long trusses above attractive evergreen foliage. Every bloom is daubed with scarlet red “blotch” for added depth.
This compact variety stays short and has a unique spreading form. Use this in a carefully cultivated, elegant Japanese-style Zen garden so you can truly study how these beautiful plants grow and change. Butterflies and hummingbirds love them, too.
For best performance, ensure it’s planted in fast-draining, acidic soil for best performance. Replicate their natural habitat of thin mountain soil by creating a mound or raised bed 18 inches tall. Amend the soil with pine needle soil conditioner, peat moss, and perlite pellets.
“Mound up” by planting them in a shallower hole than usual. Leave several inches of root ball showing above ground. Then, cover with a thick layer of pine mulch (avoid touching the mulch to the stem.) Keep these evenly moist and pull weeds as they appear.
If you want masses of gorgeous, brilliant lavender every spring, take a good look at the P.J.M. Rhododendron (Rhododendron x ‘P.J.M.’).
The first time it blooms in your yard, you will wonder if it is even real! The amethyst orchid-colored flowers will cover the plant in early spring like a cloud. The massive flowers display is lightly fragrant and completely breathtaking.
This is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with ornamental features, including delicate floral clusters of 4-9 blossoms. You’ll love their subtle scent, and you won’t be the only one! Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees will flock to your yard to feast on the nectar.
Even the foliage is lovely. Every vibrant dark green leaf frames the flowers perfectly. Once the beautiful blooms are passed, the foliage fills out the shrub for a rich, full appearance in your landscape. The leaves persist on the plant all year round.
As autumn approaches, the P.J.M. Rhododendron offers up one last blast of color as the foliage transitions. The foliage turns an incredible purple and russet colors heading into winter.
The shrub has an upright, mounding habit and compact form. It tends to naturally maintain a neat appearance, so it won’t require much fuss from you if you prefer to let it grow naturally. This variety is well known to be particularly winter hardy and long-lived. In fact, under optimal conditions, your P.J.M. will live up to 40 years.
The overall shape of the shrub is somewhat rounded when younger but will become more oval as the plants’ age and get some size to them.
It’s hard to imagine a more stunning shrub to add to your yard than this one. With a profusion of dazzling blooms in spring and gorgeous fall color, this selection deserves a special place in the landscape.
The Purpureum Elegans Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Purpureum Elegans’), sometimes called the Catawba Rhododendron, is a fantastic mid-sized broadleaf evergreen shrub that will be smothered in large clusters of incredible, rounded clusters of lavender-purple flowers!
Mildly fragrant, these large, mid-spring bundles of blooms will call early emerging pollinators and hummingbirds to your landscape, as well as many â€œOohsâ€ and â€œAahsâ€ from those driving by! Each delicate trumpet-shaped flower features burgundy blotches inside!
Once the blooms are done, the handsome foliage remains a steady lush dark-green year-round for 4 seasons of color and presence among your other shrubs. Standing out against the dreary winter landscape.
Rhododendron – Vernus, Rhododendron ‘Vernus’, is one of the earliest large-leaved Rhododendrons to flower, and it buds extremely well as a young plant!
The blooms on Vernus Rhododendrons are beautiful, star-shaped shell pink flowers, each with a dark red blotch. The flowers measure 2 inches across and the blooms contrast nicely with the dark green foliage.
‘Vernus’ is sun tolerant, vigorous, and cold hardy. It prefers partial shade and should have protection from strong winter sun and wind.
It requires regular watering, particularly in hot, dry weather; established plants can benefit from fertilization.
Rhododendrons are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens and are ideal for shrub borders and informal hedges. The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.
Not all Rhododendrons are created equal. The Nova Zembla Rhododendron (Rhododendron x ‘Nova Zembla’) is a queen in the spring garden and one of Nature Hill’s fastest-selling shrubs! Beautiful trusses of red flowers practically shine on this dense-growing, small evergreen.
The flashy scarlet flowers will crown this plant each mid-spring and the luxuriant leaves stay green all year. This is a Rhodie that looks just as good in the part sun and heat as it does in the cool shade.
It is perhaps the most widely grown and successful red hybrid for harsh climates. The cold hardy and easy-care features are just a small part of what makes Nova a truly remarkable plant. Reining over your landscape with a dignified presence.
Bursting onto the scene each spring, the bright scarlet-red blooms have darker red spots. In the sunnier areas and as the blooms age, they fade to deep-pink. These lovely blooms roll out the royal red carpet to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, searching for an early spring meal!
A highly sought-after broadleaf evergreen that blooms in late spring and is native all along the East Coast. The foliage is smooth, green to sage green, and keeps this cooling tone all year round! Each leaf has a soft, wavy edge that
Rhododendron ‘Mardi Gras’
Rhododendron ‘Mardi Gras’ (Buy Online) is a distinctly dense, spreading selection of rhododendron with pale, purplish-pink flowers that have dark edging. This plant grows well in partial sun or full shade, making it a versatile option for any garden.
English Roseum Rhododendron
English Roseum (Buy Online) Rhododendrons are a great choice for anyone looking for a beautiful pink/lavender flower that will thrive in part shade to shade. Our plants are shipped immediately in 4″ pots and are hardy in zones 4-8.
Polarnacht – Dark, Dark Purple
Rhododendron – Percy Wiseman, Rhododendron ‘Percy Wiseman’, produces flowers that are funnel-shaped, 2″ across, and of unusual beauty! The blooms on the Percy Wiseman are multicolored and open in a wash of pastel peach, pink, and creamy-yellow tones, then mature to a creamy white with faint pink and green strokes on a ball-shaped truss of 13-15 flowers. Percy Wiseman is a compact, well branched plant with dark green glossy foliage. It prefers partial shade and should have protection from strong winter sun and wind. It requires regular waterings, particularly in hot, dry weather; established plants can benefit from fertilization. Rhododendrons are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens and are ideal for shrub borders and informal hedges. The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.
Rhododendron – Capistrano, Rhododendron ‘Capistrano’, is a broadleaf evergreen that produces a profusion of frilly, peach-yellow flowers in large, rounded trusses. The dark green foliage creates a compact, mounded plant that is very disease and pest resistant. The foliage on this rhododendron is dark green in color. Easy to grow, it requires regular waterings, particularly in hot, dry weather and needs moist, well drained acidic soil high in organic matter; the species from which it has been bred are particularly susceptible to root rot. Capistrano looks best with afternoon shade. Plant it in spring or fall where winter damage is no hazard; otherwise, plant it only in spring. Use in mass, group or specimen for shrub borders, mixed borders, woodland gardens.
The Rhododendron ‘Holden’, Rhododendron ‘Holden’, is a compact growing Rhododendron with glossy dark green foliage. The narrow leaves remain dark green throughout the winter.
Its rosy-red funnel-shaped flowers bloom midseason and are held in conical-shaped trusses. The flowers are lightly scented. Butterflies and Hummingbirds love them.
‘Holden’ loves to be planted with pre-moistened peat moss, and well-drained soil is a must!! The rhododendron root system is quite fibrous, compact and shallow; roots will rot in poorly drained soil, and this plant will not do well in windy sites.
It will mature to 4′ with a 5′ spread. It will thrive in full to part sun.
This plant is very fussy about soil conditions and it must have rich, acidic soils to ensure a healthy plant! Consider apply a thick mulch around the root zone in colder climates.
Holden is a relatively low maintenance shrub and should be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any current seasons flowers.
It likes full to part sun., but requires afternoon sun protection. Consider this rhododendron as a part of the landscape and plant it in a border or foundation planting with other shrubs.
Rhododendron – Lavender Princess, Rhododendron ‘Lavender Princess’, is a dependable and vigorous grower with a compact, dense habit and rounded shape; its small size makes it an ideal foundation plant!
The large light lavender-pink trusses appear in late spring and make a stunning contrast against the dark green foliage. Lavender Princess Rhododendrons prefers moist, organic, acid soil and needs to be planted in spring or fall where winter damage is no hazard.
Lavender Princess is an easy-care rhododendron that needs excellent drainage, mulching and a peat moss soil additive. Roots will rot in poorly drained soil, so well-drained soil is a must! Rhododendrons require regular watering, particularly in hot, dry weather; established plants can benefit from fertilization.
These plants are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens and are ideal for shrub borders and informal hedges. The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.
If you are looking for traditional evergreen rhododendron, this is a great choice!
Rhododendron – Checkmate, Rhododendron ‘Checkmate’, is a compact evergreen that is slow-growing and forms a mound-like bush with a neat appearance. Checkmate produces masses of brilliant small, purple-lavender flowers that bury this dwarf rhododendron in early spring! Removing spent flowers promotes new growth. The green leaves emit a spicy fragrance when brushed and turn a vibrant dark mahogany winter color from October through April. This dwarf rhododendron is a great find for a landscape that has limited space; adds an amazing color to any sunny area, especially containers on a small patio! Checkmate performs best in full sun and can tolerate winter winds. In dry years providing additional water in the fall will help keep this plant thriving and healthy. Pruning is rarely required but if necessary should be done immediately after flowering.
Rhododendron – Firestorm, Rhododendron x ‘Firestorm’, is a wonderful evergreen with bright red wavy edged blossoms that are over 3 inches across that are held in large dome shaped clusters. Each flower is openly funnel shaped.
The new leaves are frosty, lime green, darkening as they age. Firestorm is smaller in stature, dense, and spreading which makes it a versatile landscape shrub for foundation planting and mixed borders. (A sister seedling of ‘Scarlet Romance’.)
This easy-care rhododendron needs excellent drainage, mulching and a peat moss soil additive. Roots will rot in poorly drained soil, so well-drained soil is a must!
Rhododendrons are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens and are ideal for shrub borders and informal hedges.
The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.
Rhododendron – Chinoides, Rhododendron catawbiense ‘Chinoides,’ is a compact growing broadleaf evergreen with a good round shape. Chinoides produces bright white flowers with brilliant yellow dorsal blotch that are 1 to 2 inches across.
Your Chinoides Rhododendron will bloom heavily in mid spring and performs best in full sun It can tolerate winter winds, and has narrow green foliage.
In dry years provide additional water in the fall which will help keep this plant thriving and healthy. Pruning is rarely required but if necessary should be done immediately after flowering.
This plant needs excellent drainage, mulching and a peat moss soil additive. Roots will rot in poorly drained soil, so well-drained soil is a must! Rhododendrons are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens that love to be planted with pre-moistened peat moss.
The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.
The Rhododendron ‘Vulcan’s Flame’, ‘Rhododendron ‘Vulcans Flame is a vigorous, easy to grow plant with a broad, rounded habit.
The fiery red flowers appear against the dark green foliage in late spring. It matures to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Rhododendrons are shallow rooting so they require regular watering during the summer or during hot spells. To create a full, well-shaped shrub, pinch-off the new growth for the first few years.
Vulcans Flame is an easy-care rhododendron that needs excellent drainage, mulching and a peat moss soil additive. Roots will rot in poorly drained soil, so well-drained soil is a must! Established plants can benefit from fertilization.
The Vulcan is heat and sun tolerant. An ideal location in colder zones is an area with filtered shade and some winter protection.
If you want a red flowering rhododendron, this one is it!
Rhododendron – Yaku Princess, Rhododendron x ‘Yaku Princess’, is a unique variety with a compactly branched low growth; bushy. In mid spring spheres of pinkish-white blooms with deeper pink and green spotting on the florets appear; trusses of apple-blossom pink buds open to white in spring. The green foliage has long leaves that have fuzzy, tan-orange undersides. Yaku Princess is vigorous, sun tolerant, and a low maintenance rhododendron that is perfect for foundation plantings. It requires regular waterings, particularly in hot, dry weather; established plants can benefit from fertilization. Rhododendrons are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens and are ideal for shrub borders and informal hedges. The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.
Rhododendron – Edith Bosley, Rhododendron ‘Edith Bosley’, offers a purple color that can ignite passion in the garden! Edith Bosley is one of the few rhododendrons to produce deep purple flowers and have exceptional cold hardiness. In mid spring the large domed clusters of funnel-shaped blooms will appear with a reddish purple rim and throat and a maroon-spotted upper lobe. This upright, rounded shrub has glossy evergreen leaves and is similar to the popular â€˜Purple Splendour. Edith Bosley is hardier and has larger blossoms of dark purple with a darker flair. This easy-care rhododendron needs excellent drainage, mulching, and a peat moss soil additive. Roots will rot in poorly drained soil, so well-drained soil is a must! Rhododendrons are ornamental, acidic-soil loving broad-leaf evergreens and are ideal for shrub borders and informal hedges. The most favorable time to prune is when there are no flower buds in the early spring, just before growth begins.