Azaleas and Rhododendrons are the jewels of the late spring garden. Rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas provide interest all year round, while deciduous azaleas produce excellent autumn leaf colours. There are literally thousands of species and varieties and a huge range of flower colours. Their exquisite blooms bring notes of exotic colour to pots and containers, beds and borders and lightly shaded areas under trees. Some are compact enough for the smallest gardens, others require the space of a woodland where they can reach massive proportions.
What’s the difference between Azaleas and Rhododendrons?
Our Top Picks
• RHS Garden Merit Award winner
• Huge pompom-like trusses of double pink star-shaped flowers
• Easy to grow, highly fragrant and pollinator friendly
• Yellow-green deciduous foliage
• Perfect for borders, flowering hedges and containers
• Purple buds open to wavy-edged white flowers with deep purple markings
• 9 flower trusses
• Easy to grow and evergreen
• Dark green, glossy ovate leaves
• Perfect for borders, hedging, screening and containers
• Highly fragrant, large, lemon yellow flowers with gold spotting and yellow stamens
• 9 flower trusses with each flower spanning 8-10 in diameter
• Easy to grow
• Perfect for pots, containers and the border
• Large, apricot-orange flushed maroon flowers
• Broad glossy forest green foliage
• Low maintenance and pollinator-friendly
• Perfect for borders or containers
Dark, narrow foliage
• Compact, bushy shrub
• Hardy and evergreen
• Perfect for growing in the border, pots on the patio or balcony
• Includes one each of Sappho, Nova Zembla, Norfolk Candy and Marcel Menard
• Perfect for spring borders, pots or containers
• Includes one each of Lilac, Red, Pink, White and Orange.
• Compact, small leaf Japanese Azaleas
• Masses of brightly coloured blooms
• Small, dark green foliage
• Perfect for patio pots or borders.
Planting time: October – March/April 📆
Location: Full sun/Partial shade 🏡
Flowering Time: April – July 🌸
Rhododendrons and Azaleas prefer well drained and light/acidic soil. Before planting, dig-in plenty of neutral or acidic organic matter (composted tree bark, leafmould, decomposing pine or spruce needles), and mix in well with the soil. Do not plant too deeply; all rhododendrons are surface-rooting and the roots should be just covered. Apply at least an 8cm (3 inch) mulch of chipped conifer bark or another acidic material. The mulch should be well-aerated, not firmed down.
Here are some handy aftercare tips to get the best performance out of your Rhododendron and Azaleas.