Information on Rhododendrons

Overview

Rhododendrons are flowering shrubs from the Ericaceae family. The genus has more than 1,000 species. It is a showy shrub that grows in partially shady areas. Rhododendrons grow throughout the temperate climate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, but they do best in mild, humid climates. Some will reach 10 feet tall or higher.

Rhododendron blooms range from white to purple. image by "White Azalea" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Per Ola Wiberg (Powi) (Per Ola Wiberg) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Description

Rhododendrons are shrubs with large, leathery deep green leaves and clusters of large, trumpet-shaped flowers in pale lavender, purple, red, pink and white.

Growth

Plant rhododendrons in acidic, well-drained soil rich in organic material. Mulch and regular water are necessary. Rhododendrons must not be allowed to dry out or sit in soggy soil.

Warning

Some species of Rhododendrons have grayanotoxin in pollen and nectar. These species are poisonous to animals and some people can become sick from the honey made by honey bees that have pollinated from these rhododendrons.

Pests

Pests that stunt the growth of rhododendrons are rhododendron borers and weevils.

Disease

Diseases that can affect rhododendrons are stem fungus, root rot and twig fungal dieback.

References

  • Absolute Astronomy
Keywords: Rhododendron, Azalea, shrub

About this Author

T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.