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When Do Rhododendrons Bloom? Types & Varieties

rhododendrons flowers

Rhododendrons are without a doubt one of the most popular and commonly grown ornamental plants throughout the world. Rhododendron is actually a genus of more than 1,000 species of woody flowering plants.

Because there are so many different types of rhododendron, their blooming season depends on the variety but most will bloom in the spring ranging from late March into June but can last into late fall.

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Types of Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons can be broken down into three main types that have varying characteristics. Here’s a quick overview of the three main types:

Evergreen Shrubs

Rhododendrons that are considered evergreen shrubs are smaller in size than trees and will be in bloom all year round. They do not lose their greenery during the fall and winter like deciduous shrubs. The most common forms of rhododendron fall into the category of evergreen shrubs.

Evergreen Trees

Rhododendrons that fall into the evergreen tree category grow large enough and tall enough to be considered trees. Like evergreen shrubs, they maintain their greenery throughout the year and do not shed off their leaves during the fall like deciduous shrubs.

evergreen trees during winter_ErikaWittlieb, Pixabay

Deciduous Shrubs

Rhododendrons that fall within the deciduous shrub category will lose their leaves seasonally like other deciduous plants. These rhododendrons are smaller in size and are much rarer than evergreen shrubs.

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Rhododendron Varieties and When They Bloom

Elviira Rhododendron

Elviira rhododendrons are a low-maintenance evergreen shrub that typically doesn’t grow any larger than 2 feet in height and 2 feet wide. They make great hedges and bloom gorgeous trumpet-shaped red flowers that produce a mild but pleasant scent.

The Elvirra blooms in the spring with the most abundant blooms showing up around mid-April. Since they are evergreen shrubs, they will maintain their green foliage throughout the year. This variety does require well-drained, acidic soil to survive.

Blue Peter Rhododendron

The Blue Peter rhododendrons are a great variety to grow in most regions because they are both cold hardy and heat tolerant. Blue Peter can either be an evergreen or deciduous shrub, depending on the cultivator. They feature beautiful violet-blue bell-shaped blooms with frilly petals.

This variety blooms in mid-spring and grows to about 4 feet in height. They can be grown by themselves or in a cluster. They thrive in well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

blue peter rhododendrons
Photo Credit By: Piqsels

Bow Bells Rhododendron

Bow Bells rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs that are slow-growing and typically reach a maximum height of three feet.  They display bright pink buds that turn pale pink when flowering. The Bow Bells bloom sometime between April and May.

The flowers on this plant are bell-shaped and  They are quite noticeable in any garden. This evergreen shrub variety is not very tolerant of heat or cold. They enjoy the partial shade and loose, slightly acidic soil.

Boule de Neige Rhododendron

Boule de Neige rhododendrons are dense, rounded shrubs that grow to be about 3 to 4 feet tall.  Their buds are pink, but their blossoms are white and funnel-shaped. The white flowers sometimes have bits of brown or yellow mixed in.

These rhododendrons are extremely cold and hardy and have grayish-green foliage that lasts throughout the winter.

Windsong Rhododendron

Windsong rhododendrons are another slow-growing evergreen shrub. They reach around 4 feet in height and up to 6 feet wide but it can take up to 10 years. Their flower buds are pink but as they bloom they turn a pale yellowish green.

The Windsong typically blooms in the April to May timeframe. They like acidic soil with even moisture and will maintain their green foliage all year round.

yellow rhododendron flowers
Image Credit: Piqsels

White Angel Rhododendron

White Angel rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs that grow from 3 to 6 feet in height. The flowers bloom around mid-April. They have large pinkish-purple buds and showy, pure white flowers. These shrubs are low maintenance and grow best in sandy or clay-like soil.

This plant is cold hardy and does well in northern climates. The foliage remains dark green throughout the blooming season but will turn a purplish hue sometime during the fall.

Black Satin Rhododendron

Black Satin rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs that can reach up to 6 feet in height. They have bell-shaped flowers that are vivid rose-pink, which stands out against their almost black foliage.

The leaves on this shrub are small but very dense. They do best in acidic, well-drained, moist soil. This rhododendron typically blooms in mid-April and is a very heavy flowerer.

Nova Zembla Rhododendron

Nova Zembla rhododendrons are incredibly tolerant to hot and cold conditions. They are popular because of their vibrant, purplish-red flowers and impressive size, which is typically around 8 feet tall and up to 7 feet wide.

They display trumpet-shaped flowers that form in large trusses. They thrive in acidic, well-drained but moist soil. Blooms can be expected in May and June.

nova zembla rhododendrons
Photo Credit By: Piqsels

Catawba Rhododendron

The Catawba rhododendron is another evergreen variety that reaches heights between 6 and 8 feet tall. It has dark green, leathery foliage that lasts throughout the year. Their blooms come in varying shades of purple that bloom from June into early July.

Catawba is known for attracting hummingbirds and has beautiful displays when planted together. They prefer shady locations but are relatively easy to transplant if need be.

Gibraltar Rhododendron

The rhododendron Gibraltar produces a vast amount of rich orange flowers that bloom in the spring.  This variety is deciduous and can grow to be 5 to 6 feet tall. It does best in partial sun but does have a sensitivity to heat if overexposed.  It will drop its leaves during the fall, like other deciduous plants.

Blaauw’s Pink Azalea

Blaauw’s Pink azalea is also known as Rhododendron Blaauw’s Pink. It features salmon-pink flowers and reaches a maximum of 5 feet high and about 6 feet wide. This is an evergreen variety that does best in partial shade.

This shrub goes densely and is very colorful. It will bloom around mid-May but will keep the green foliage throughout the year.

pink rhododendrons
Image Credit: Piqsels

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There are many different types of rhododendrons in the world and they can be either evergreen or deciduous. Because there are so many different varieties, their blooming season varies. For the most part, the majority of rhododendrons will bloom sometime between March and June but you will need to research your preferred type to get an accurate bloom time.

See also: Is My Rhododendron Dead (4 Signs to Look For)

Featured Image Credit: Jill Wellington, Pixabay


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