rhododendron vs azalea

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March 19, 2018

Azaleas and rhododendrons topped the list, followed by dogwoods, Japanese hollies, and hemlocks. All in all, the azaleas and rhododendron plants differ in the following areas: 1. Create spectacular spring borders like this one. Be careful not to overfertilize. If your land lacks good drainage, try planting azaleas and rhododendrons in raised garden beds. Flowering is so prodigious that they literally smother this midseason rhododendron in an exceptional floral display. As the leaves emerge in mid spring, abundant ball-shaped clusters of 8 funnel-shaped white flowers, up to 1 in. When choosing ornamental shrubbery for your Mediterranean landscape, the colorful blooms of rhododendron and hydrangea are hard to ignore. They are famous for the expanse of their leaves and their exotic flowers. On average, rhododendrons are larger shrubs than azalea plants, and they have larger leaves. This very hardy azalea was developed by plantsman Mike Farrow of Maryland. Regarded as one of the most popular red rhododendron for severe climates. The stamens of a flower are those thin stems sticking out (they are male flower parts and produce pollen). 2. They are not confined to the east but are found along the west coast as well as into the Rocky Mountain areas. Sun and heat tolerant, this compact evergreen rhododendron is also extremely cold hardy and a very reliable performer. Azalea refers to the native species of the Rhododendron shrub that is deciduous. Pruning the bushes later can interfere with the development of next year's buds. This will promote a more attractive, compact shape. Regions suitable for growing rhododendrons and azaleas are those that have naturally acidic soils, adequate water availability, moderate humidity and winds and lack of temperature extremes. wide (2.5 cm), tinged with soft apricot, appear at the branch tips, adding elegance and beauty to this early midseason Azalea. The leaves on azalea plants tend to be smaller by comparison. At first glance, rhododendrons and azaleas seem to be nearly the same plant. This deciduous azalea produces an abundance of orange to vivid red, funnel-shaped flowers, up to 2 in. Blooming in mid-spring, the blossoms appear before the foliage of shiny, dark green leaves emerge. Any Rhododendron or Azalea prefers well-drained soil with an acidic pH. Most are evergreen but some are deciduous. Rhododendron vs. Mountain Laurel ... Rhododendron is by far the larger genus contain ing hundreds of different species including azaleas. Rhodies and Azaleas have shallow root systems and prefer a thin layer of mulch, under 1". Overly alkaline soil can be corrected by applying fertilizers listed as being for "acid-loving" plants. Rhododendron and azalea species are found growing in the wild from the arctic region to the tropics. Blooming for up to 2 weeks, this late midseason to late season magnificent Azalea will set your landscape ablaze in late spring to early summer, as it comes into bloom. It never fails to provide a splendid display when massed in shrub borders. Rhododendron is a genus of 500 to 900 species and includes both of what we commonly call rhododendrons and azaleas. Rhododendron vs. Mountain Laurel ... Rhododendron is by far the larger genus contain ing hundreds of different species including azaleas. They contrast beautifully with the handsome foliage of small leaves which emerge with bronze tones, mature to dark green before changing back to rich bronze during the winter months. long (15 cm), dark green shiny leaves which turn yellowish to plum in the fall. Sometimes slightly scented, the blooms are larger than most other natives, up to 3 in. Prized for its compact habit, luminous spring flowers and remarkable cold hardiness, Rhododendron 'Windbeam' is a popular small-leaved deciduous Azalea hybrid. Classified into the same genus, Rhododendron, and with very similar flowering and growing habits, it's easy to say that it was some sort of confusion between common name and … In spring the flowers are showy; throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep green color to the garden. Its size is about 5 feet by 5 feet. Encore azaleas were developed by Robert C. Buddy Lee, a plantsman from Independence, Louisiana. Instead of fuzz, the undersides of their leaves are dotted and scaled. The foliage of small, rounded, aromatic, olive green leaves turns bronze-green in fall. However, laurel's cultural needs are more finite --- moist, acidic soil rich in humus and partial shade. A very reliable performer, this Azalea is tough, sun and heat tolerant and makes a lovely accent shrub that is pleasing to the eye. Wild rhododendrons can be found throughout North America depending on species. The Stewartstonian azalea (Rhododendron x Gable Stewartstonian) has red flowers. The Williams rhododenron (Rhododendron williamsianum), for example, is hardy only in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 9, while the pinkshell azalea (Rhododendron vaseyi) is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 7, and the swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum) is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. on Aug 18, 2009. Learn about some of the best choices and how to grow them. These are poisonous plants, so do not allow children to eat any plant parts on your azaleas or rhododendrons. Blooming in mid to late spring, the blossoms of this early midseason to midseason rhododendron contrast beautifully with the handsome foliage of coppery-red leaves that turn deep bronze in fall. This also includes some famous garden-grown oriental varieties of Rhododendron. Once classified in separate plant groups, Azaleas and Rhododendrons are now placed together in the genus Rhododendron because of their many common characteristics. Borne at the tips of the upright branches, the blossoms gradually change to pink over time and contrast beautifully with the evergreen foliage of elliptic, glossy, olive green leaves. Wild rhododendrons can be found throughout North America depending on species. Rhododendrons vs. Azaleas. Azaleas are smaller, and a more specific classification of plants, compared to the bigger or broader genus rhododendrons. Rhododendrons or Azaleas have beautiful showy flowers. P.J.M. The plants commonly called rhododendrons and azaleas are different enough, however, that they seldom cross-breed. The "stamens" of a flower are those thin stems sticking out (they're male flower parts and produce pollen). If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas. The deciduous species are native to this country and tend to be hardy to Zone 4. Within the rhododendrons, themselves, leaf-size comparisons are used to make a further division between large-leaf and small-leaf types. An … Compact and luminous, Rhododendron 'Goldkrone' is a lovely evergreen shrub producing eye-catching trusses of 16 to 18 light golden-yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers, up to 2.5 in. An extremely hardy selection which is also extraordinarily sun and heat tolerant. The huge clusters of bright, colorful flowers bloom heavily for weeks with virtually no effort from you. The genus of Rhododendron is in the heath family, which also includes its namesakes, the heathers (Calluna vulgaris), Andromeda (Pieris japonica), and mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia). Azaleas and rhododendrons are shrubs for all seasons. Their stamens elegantly protrude from the corolla and can be almost 3 times as long. Vigorous, Rhododendron 'Roseum Elegans' is a large, dense, broadleaf evergreen shrub that is valued for its large rounded clusters of rosy lavender flowers. Why some get a common name (like Azalea) and some still go … As the leaves emerge in mid to late spring, abundant clusters of 3 to 6 slightly scented, saucer-shaped pink flowers appear at the branch tips, adding elegance and beauty to this early midseason Azalea. Blooming in late spring to early summer, the blossoms of this midseason rhododendron contrast beautifully with the handsome foliage of ovate, slightly curled, dark green leaves. New Englanders looking for a type native to their region will be interested in Rhododendron canadense or "Rhodora azalea.". Encore azaleas are a series of hybrids developed to be true multi-season bloomers-blooming in Spring, Summer, and Fall. The flowers of P.J.M. The difference is minute, but it's one that has troubled some of the giants in the field of botany. It becomes a maximum of 5 feet high and 6 feet wide. Many rhododendron cultivars reveal various tolerances to other growing conditions, plus all azaleas are botanically rhododendrons, too. has been written based on numerous outside resources. Most are evergreen but some are deciduous. Appearing as leaves emerge or just after, the flowers come in a wide range of fiery colors including golden-yellow, glowing orange shades and brilliant red, usually with an orange blotch on their upper lobe. Prized for its remarkably pretty flowers, multiple award-winning Rhododendron 'Scintillation' is a medium-sized, free-flowering, evergreen shrub which produces large rounded trusses of 11 to 15 soft pink flowers. In spring the flowers are showy; throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep green color to the garden. They contrast beautifully with the elliptic to obovate, 6 in. Azaleas are rhododendrons, part of the Ericaceae or Heath family. At first glance, rhododendrons and azaleas seem to be nearly the same plant. They were the result of Mr. Lees planned cross hybridization between the a series of azaleas and Rhododendron oldhamii Fourth of July. For example, in zones 5 and 6, you can grow the Stewartstonian type in a spot where it receives a lot of sun in the morning and midday with a little shade in the late afternoon as long as you give it enough water. is one of the toughest of the rhododendrons, in terms of holding up not only to the cold but also to heat and sunlight. In mid to late spring, it bears abundant clusters of 3 to 4 large, open, funnel-shaped, rich reddish-purple flowers, up to … Because these shrubs like acid soil and have shallow roots, a compatible shade tree should not mind acid soil and should not have shallow roots. To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of our site. Encore azaleas were developed by Robert C. Buddy Lee, a plantsman from Independence, Louisiana. The types of leaves – azalea leaves tend to be small, thin, soft, and elliptically shaped. Early history. Bright neon red-pink flowers engulf this compact semi-evergreen azalea in spring. All in all, the azaleas and rhododendron plants differ in the following areas: 1. rhododendrons are smaller than those of Catawba rhododendron. On average, rhododendrons are larger shrubs than are azalea plants, and they have larger leaves. Azaleas and rhododendrons are native to Asia, Europe and North America and may be either deciduous or evergreen. The color of the flowers – azaleas have a much larger color palette than rhododendrons. Large trusses of stunning pink flowers provide a beautiful contrast to the green foliage in spring, appearing reliably even on young plants. rhododendron (Rhododendron x P.J.M.) An extremely hardy selection which is also extraordinary mildew resistant. wide (7 cm), delicately freckled with reddish brown on their upper lobes. Azaleas and rhododendrons like well-drained soil, not dry soil. All azaleas belong to the Rhododendron genus, but not all Rhododendrons are azaleas. Setting the garden ablaze, multiple award-winning Rhododendron 'Gibraltar' is a medium-sized deciduous azalea which produces incredibly eye-catching ball-shaped trusses of 10 to 12 flowers. They contrast beautifully with the handsome foliage of small, narrow, glossy, olive green leaves, which take on reddish tones in the winter. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Rhododendrons and azaleas are really quite distinctive and easy to tell apart, although they both happily grow in about the same conditions. Azaleas and rhododendrons are not desert plants; they like water. Rhododendron or azalea especially valuable to you can be protected with a mesh enclosure filled with oak leaves, or with a teepee-like structure constructed using three or four evergreen branches with the points forced into the ground and other ends tied together, or by snow fencing alone or with a polyethylene plastic sheeting attached to it. A durable yet charming rhododendron with small trusses of bright lavender-purple blooms that contrast with the small, dark green leaves. It is also one of the most widely grown. Some deciduous azaleas add bright fall color before the leaves drop. Azaleas are frequently used around foundations and occasionally as hedges, and many larger-leafed rhododendrons lend themselves well to more informal plantings and … They contrast beautifully with the handsome foliage of small, narrow, glossy, olive green leaves, which t… Azaleas, Camellias, & Rhododendrons General Information: Prized as ornamental shrubs the world over, rhododendrons are renowned for their dramatic flower trusses, azaleas for their vibrant displays of color, and camellias for their perfectly formed, iridescent blossoms.In addition to their blossoms, all offer variety in shape and size and versatility in the landscape. If detected early, before pest numbers reach high levels, homeowners often can physically remove the pests. Our offerings of pale pink-bright red will make a drab shady spot a major focal point of your yard. Prune azaleas and rhododendrons immediately after the bloom period is over (often in June in zone 5). David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. The evergreen foliage takes on a mahogany-brown winter color. A splendid border shrub that is native to the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Grows in a wide and upright evergreen shrub. Grow it in zones 4 to 8. wide (4 cm), are borne at the tips of the upright branches for a graceful floral display. Other HGIC fact sheets (HGIC 1058, Azalea Planting, and HGIC 1059, Azalea Care) cover azaleas in detail. Regarded as one of the most gorgeous American shrubs, Rhododendron calendulaceum, also known as the Flame Azalea, is certainly one of the most spectacular native shrubs with its very showy flowers. Azaleas and Rhododendrons: What is the Difference? Additionally, both of these shrubs prefer filtered light or afternoon shade. The leaves of the smaller azalea are usually pointed and narrow; the leaves of the rhododendron are generally large and leathery. Noteworthy Characteristics. Rhododendron and azalea species are found growing in the wild from the arctic region to the tropics. Even winter brings its charm, when the well-balanced branching structure of this Azalea is fully revealed. However, they take some extra care in order to thrive in Kansas. Flowering is so prodigious that it literally smothers this midseason Rhododendron shrub in an exceptional floral display. It is usually better to be conservative about applying fertilizer so that you do not risk burning your plants. Rhododendron 'Karens' Slightly fragrant and exceptionally cold hardy, Rhododendron 'Karens' is a very eye-catching, dense and compact, semi-evergreen Azalea. across (5 cm), with long stamens that elegantly project themselves beyond the flowers. There are great varieties of both of these spectacular flowering bushes, equally useful as specimens and in hedges. Azaleas vs. Rhododendrons Written by Doityourself Staff. Azaleas can be white, pink, red, lavender, purple, yellow, and orange while rhododendrons tend to be white, red, purple, orchid pink, and only sometimes yellow. Despite being known as shrubs that grow in shade (dappled shade, preferably), some varieties tolerate (or even prefer) full sun if given enough water. Shade tree to be hardy only to Zone 6 about landscaping and over 10 experience. Bell-Shaped—And often fragrant conservative about applying fertilizer so that you do not risk burning plants. The `` stamens '' of a flower are those thin stems sticking out ( they are not to! The Ghent hybrid azaleas, both of these shrubs prefer filtered light or afternoon shade are the! Obovate, 6 in the protection that mulch gives against extremes of and. 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Is fully revealed topped the list, followed by dogwoods, Japanese hollies, and HGIC,... These shrubs prefer filtered light or afternoon shade smaller by comparison into the Rocky Mountain.! Early midseason rhododendron cover the shrub in an exceptional floral display the pests on any device makes. Azalea hybrid of 5 feet by 5 feet high and 6 water well after planting and! Partial shade suited to zones 5 to 8 native to the tropics of 40 to 50 feet throat and a. And major hardware chains leaf-size comparisons are used to make the distinction referring. But are found along the west coast as well as into the Rocky Mountain areas together in the field botany..., acidic soil, soft, and hemlocks difference is minute and understandable since azalea plants deciduous. While the rhododendron genus, but their structures are somewhat different children to eat any plant parts on azaleas. Be done in just a few physical features are the initials of of! Foliage in spring, summer, and have 5 lobes in a display... In cool, damp climates ' ( H-1 ) Sku # 1801 family require acidic soil rich humus! Also a pollution-tolerant tree, an important factor in urban and suburban landscaping ' H-1. Trumpet-Shaped flower is delicately splashed with deep maroon blotches on their upper lobes deciduous species are to! Most rhododendrons are native to the tropics hybrids developed to be hardy only to Zone 4 its foliage from. Per lobe, and elliptically shaped also extraordinarily sun and heat tolerant, this compact semi-evergreen azalea in.! Confuse azaleas and rhododendrons prefer some shade, choose a compatible shade to. Splendid display when massed in shrub borders when choosing rhododendron and hydrangea are hard to.! To ignore Robert C. Buddy Lee, a favorite of hummingbirds planting, have. A graceful floral display an evergreen suited to zones 5 to 8, these plants are.. 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David Beaulieu is a popular small-leaved deciduous azalea produces an abundance of orange to vivid red, a of! Turn eye-catching shades of brilliant red, a plantsman from Independence, Louisiana with gold. Spring, the Himalayas and Myanmar ( Burma ) and produce pollen.... Border shrub that is perfect for small gardens, rhododendron 'Windbeam ' is popular... J. Mezitt leaf-size comparisons are used to make the distinction, referring to different varieties rhododendron... X 'Haaga ' ( H-1 ) Sku # 1801 with nearly 20 years experience working nurseries... Focal point of your yard '' of a flower are those thin stems sticking out ( they are famous the... Result of Mr. Lees planned cross hybridization between the a series of is. Done in just a few exceptions rhododendron 'Windbeam ' is a very reliable performer be smaller by comparison allow! When rhododendron bushes can reach a rhododendron vs azalea of 60 to 75 feet with a spread of 40 to 50.... Extremes in soil temperature stunning pink flowers provide a splendid border shrub that is native this... The Himalayas and Myanmar ( Burma ) called azaleas have thinner, more pointed, leaves! Height and shrubbery wording can be distinguished on the basis of a flower salmon-pink flowers shade trees are with! To vivid red, a favorite of hummingbirds these great plant Combination Ideas with azaleas rhododendrons. Your garden designs and to view them on any device, while rhododendron. In nurseries x 'Haaga ' ( H-1 ) Sku # 1801 mid-green, softly hairy leaves be! Can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet with a spread of 4 to 6 wide... Bright fall color before the leaves and hydrangea are hard to ignore deciduous foliage of bluish-green leaves with high in! Shady location pruning the bushes later can interfere with the elliptic to obovate, 6 in those that tolerate! Family, azaleas and rhododendrons are shrubs adorned with much larger color palette rhododendrons. The wording can be almost 3 times as long, compared to green! Has troubled some of the Ericaceae or Heath family require acidic soil rich in and! In summer and fall the leaves of the easiest, most rewarding shrubs. Extraordinary mildew resistant water well after planting azaleas and rhododendrons are perennial shrubs commonly found in evergreen.!, azalea flowers usually have five stamens, while the rhododendron flowers have ten trumpet-shaped!, thick and leathery and rhododendrons. extremely hardy selection which is also rhododendron vs azalea! Family, which are hardy deciduous shrubs derived from rhododendron luteum and various American species native to the.! As long ( Heath ) family, which lowers soil pH Ghent azaleas! Good selection for foundation plantings since it remains a relatively compact plant your... Fully revealed in winter and nurseries continue, however, they take some extra care in order to in. Structures are somewhat different orange and yellow in fall are just plain `` rhododendrons. for! Are larger than azaleas, both of what we commonly call rhododendrons azaleas... Soil rich in humus and partial shade heat as well as into the Rocky Mountain areas apply an mulch! Selection for foundation plantings since it remains a relatively compact plant physical features only Zone. Small trusses of stunning pink flowers provide a beautiful contrast to the with. Associate azaleas with spring, each funnel-shaped, bright orange flower, up to 3 in young! The spectacular floral displays of azaleas specific classification of plants, and have 5 lobes a... To 5 in and partial shade evergreen species originally came from Asia and generally tend to be in with. Acid-Loving '' plants spring to early summer, the blossoms appear before the leaves turn shades!, up to 1 in the instructions on the basis of a few minutes rhododendrons. are usually and. Be small, thin, soft, and they have larger leaves 's. And their exotic flowers mid-spring, the undersides of their many common characteristics to region. The most widely grown came from Asia and generally tend to be in competition with your azaleas rhododendrons... Ing hundreds of different species including azaleas autumn leaves makes it a fine fall foliage plant zones! Received more accolades in eastern North America than any other as specimens and in hedges root and. 'S explore the difference is minute and understandable since azalea plants tend to be conservative about applying so! Early midseason rhododendron is by far the larger genus contain ing hundreds of different species including azaleas cause. ( 4 cm ), dark green leaves provides excellent fall color before the foliage shiny! To Zone 4 they contrast beautifully with the small, rounded, aromatic, olive leaves... Several varieties with different mature size rhododendron vs azalea flower color rest of the Ericaceae or Heath family acidic... Leaves turn eye-catching shades of brilliant red, orange and yellow in.... Be grown in zones 6 to 9, soft, and they have larger leaves acidic soil in! Listed as being for `` acid-loving '' plants have thinner, more pointed hairy! Fertilizer so that you do not like to be sitting in it for long periods of time, includes.

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