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Plant Culture and Care

Plant Selection

It's important to select rhododendrons and azaleas that are suitable for the site where they will be planted.  Soil type, soil drainage, max and min temperatures, amount of sun/shade and wind conditions all are important factors when choosing plants.

Among the many rhododendron species and hybrids, flower color, flower truss size and shape, bloom time, leaf shape, texture and color, and plant height and habit should be taken into consideration during selection.  You can find a rhododendron to fit any particular garden situation. To assist in finding plants suitable for your local area, the ARS website has information for more than 2000 different rhododendrons and azaleas conveniently provided in searchable lists.  One can search by flower color, height at 10 years, bloom time, cold hardiness, plant name, fragrance, species or hybrid, deciduous or evergreen leaves to find a list of plants for any landscape need.  Detail descriptions of plant shape, leaf shape, texture and other distinguishing characteristics are provided in the search results.  Most varieties include a photo showing the plant's flowers and leaves. 

Another resource provided at the ARS web site are the "Good Performer" recommendations.  The Public Education Committee asked the ARS Chapters to compile lists of excellent performing rhododendrons and azaleas.  The lists give plants with beautiful foliage, form and flowers that are hardy and resistant to pests and diseases for the given area.  The listed plants have performed well in members' gardens and are recommended to others who live near each chapter.

Plants can be procured from your local nursery or garden center or from a reputable mail order firm.  A searchable list of rhododendron and azalea growers is included at our web site to aid in locating sources to purchase plants.  Sometimes varieties not suitable for your area are found at local discount stores or garden centers, so care should be exercised when selecting your plants.  A number of ARS Chapters hold yearly springtime plant sales (see show and plant sale calendar).  Often unusual and uncommon varieties are found at the plant sales.  Plant shows held by many ARS Chapters provide an opportunity to view up close many different types of rhododendrons and azaleas.



Index of Contents



Landscape Use

What To
Plant Where






Pruning & Spent
Flower Removal

Propagation & Hybridizing


Insect & Disease Control

American Rhododendron Society
Executive Director: P.O. Box 525, Niagara Falls, NY 14304
Ph: 416-424-1942   Fax: 905-262-1999   E-Mail:
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