When Do Rhododendrons Bloom

When Do Rhododendrons Bloom?

Before you plant or prepare your garden, you need to know when do rhododendrons bloom and how long their bloom lasts.

You might be thinking about growing rhododendrons in your garden.  These flowers come in brilliant colors and they are easy to care for.  They love the shade and grow beautifully both in gardens and pots.

They are popular flowering shrubs with thousands of colorful cultivars to choose from.  From large blousy blooms in purples and pinks to more fiery reds, yellows, and oranges, rhododendrons are a guarantee for a good show of flowers.

Many rhododendrons are evergreen but deciduous varieties also provide good autumn color.  These amazing flowers are commonly grown alongside azaleas.  They both share many characteristics making them good partners in their growing life.

Characteristics Of Rhododendrons And Azaleas Bloom

  • Rhododendrons have fewer stems while azaleas have more
  • Azaleas are always evergreen while rhododendrons are usually evergreen but sometimes deciduous
  • Rhododendron has thick and leathery leaves while the azalea leaves are thin and coated in fine hairs.
  • Azalea flowers produce 5 to 6 stamens while rhododendron flowers have 10 or more stamens
  • Rhododendron flowers grow together in large groups while azalea clusters are around 3 at the end of the stem

When Do Rhododendrons Bloom?

There are so many different types of rhododendrons and blooming times occur at different points throughout the year.  It is common for most species of rhododendrons to bloom in spring while others in the fall and even winter.

The seasons for rhododendrons blooming are broken up into 3 different seasons

  • Early bloomers
  • Mid bloomers
  • Late bloomers

This helps gardeners understand exactly when the flowers will bloom. Note that the blooming season can change depending on the climate the plant is growing in.

For example – Early bloomer rhododendrons can start blooming in December and March in mild climates and between April and early May in colder climates.

Rhododendrons Bloom - Spring also Winter

So How Long Does A Rhododendron Bloom Last?

Just as the blooming seasons vary, the length of time that a rhododendron bloom also varies.  The amount of time it takes for this flower to grow from a bud to full bloom averages 3 weeks.  It is possible for some species to take longer.  The flowering period will change depending on the temperature and the climate from year to year.

Once it flowers, the rhododendron blooms can last long ranging from 2 to 7 months.  Usually, rhododendrons grow in milder climates mostly near the water.  Flowers growing there will have a bloom that lasts longer than those growing in colder climates with shorter periods of warm water.

Some species of the rhododendron survive low temperatures up to -25 degrees.  These species can start blooming in the winter and brighten up your gloomy days.

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Can You Prolong A Rhododendron Bloom?

Even though these flowers have a decent long blooming season, unlike any other flowers, you may want to prolong their flowering so you enjoy them more.  There are several ways you can do that very easily.

If your rhododendrons bloom early, you can protect them from frost and therefore prolong their bloom.  Likewise, if they bloom in summer, you can add some shade to keep them in perfect bloom longer.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Plant Food

Rhododendrons Varieties To Grow

  1. Rhododendron Pleasant White – This variety is a dwarf, evergreen rhododendron with white flowers and does well in containers, a semi-shady border, or a small garden.
  2. Rhododendron Scintillation – This large shrub grows well over 2mans produces apricot and pink blooms that are very exotic and brightens up any area in part shade.  It is a very hardy cultivar, great for more exposed and northerly areas.
  3. Rhododendrons ‘Nancy Evans’ – This gorgeous and golden-yellow compact rhododendron has leaves that are bronze when young and deep green when mature.  They look good in containers or in a border.
  4. Rhododendron ‘Vulcan’ – This compact variety has long leaves and large scarlet blooms that do best in containers or a mixed border.  They need a sheltered spot in a partial shade and protection from the harsh winter winds.
  5. Rhododendron Orakel – This variety is a hybrid with purple blooms and a crimson-red blotch.  It is hardy and compact and ideal for container display or a mixed border.  Keep them protected from harsh winter winds.
  6. Rhododendron Yakushimanum ‘Kochiro Wada’ – This is a compact hybrid with white flowers, and young silvery leaves that mature to dark green.
Rhododendrons Varieties To Grow


Now that you have learned a thing or two about the rhododendrons bloom, it’s time to grow them and expect a longer blooming period of these beautiful flowers.

Whatever variety you choose to grow, get to know its blooming season and practicing prolonging your flowers so they can serve you for longer.

What months do rhododendrons bloom?

Rhododendron is a genus of about 100 species of flowering plants, native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are generally found in damp areas, and are often cultivated as ornamental plants. Many are popular as garden plants because of their bright red, orange, or yellow flowers. In most parts of the world, rhododendrons bloom from April through June.

Do rhododendrons only flower once a year?

Rhododendrons are not annuals. They bloom continuously throughout the growing season and are often called ‘ever-blooming’ or ‘perennial’ rhododendrons. The flowering period varies depending on the species, but it is common for them to begin blooming in mid-May in northern areas and to continue blooming through the summer months. In warmer areas, rhododendrons can be perennial all year long. Most rhododendrons bloom as showy, fragrant, bell-shaped, white, pink or red flowers that emerge from large, densely packed clusters of foliage. The flowers may have a light green, bluish or purple tint, and they are usually between 1 and 4 inches (2.5 to 10 cm) long.

Why are my rhododendrons not flowering?

Rhododendrons are a beautiful spring flowering plant. Many gardeners and plant enthusiasts are familiar with this type of flower. However, some rhododendron plants do not bloom for the first year or two. The reasons for this are many and varied. First, the reason could be a number of things. Some plants may have been over-watered during their growth in the greenhouse or nursery. Others may have been transplanted too early. Still others may have been subjected to cold weather during their growing season. Whatever the reason, it is important to keep these plants healthy and happy during their first year or two of growth.

What is the lifespan of a rhododendron?

The lifespan of a Rhododendron is usually about 25 years. But what does this mean? It can be defined as the length of time that a plant will remain in a healthy condition, without becoming diseased or showing symptoms of aging.

How do I get more flowers on my rhododendron?

Rhododendrons are among the most popular landscape plants in North America. The first thing to do is to make sure the plant is healthy. Check for any damage, including those caused by insects or diseases. If there is no visible sign of disease, you can try a foliar feed, a liquid fertilizer that is sprayed directly onto the leaves. To apply, follow label instructions carefully and use a hand sprayer so you don't over-water. The best way to get more flowers is to take cuttings. I've done this many times with rhododendrons, and it is always successful. The only problem is that the cuttings are hard to root, and you have to be very careful not to lose them in the garden.