When Do Rhododendrons Bloom?

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Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by

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.

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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


What months do rhododendrons bloom?

Rhododendrons bloom in spring, from March through May. The flowers are small, and they tend to be showy in the early blooming cultivars, but they become less noticeable as the season progresses. Do rhododendrons need a lot of water? Rhododendrons thrive in well-drained soil that has plenty of organic matter added.

Why are my rhododendrons not flowering?

Rhododendron is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows best in moist, well-drained soils. It has long, waxy leaves that are oval shaped and pointed at the ends. Rhododendrons bloom in late spring to early summer, when temperatures are warmer than freezing. They need full sun to thrive. The main reason by which they are not flowering is lack of water.

Rhododendron flowers are borne on bare wood or on old stems. The flowers are typically white, pink, lavender, blue, or purple in color. Rhododendrons are often used as a garden accent plant because they have attractive foliage and bloom from late spring through fall. Rhododendrons are also popular in landscape use.

Do rhododendrons like full sun?

Rhododendrons are native to the temperate zone. As a result, they require a warm, sunny location with at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. They will do well in full sun if the location is not too dry or windy, and if the soil is well drained. The best place for them is the south-facing side of a slope.

Rhododendrons can be planted in containers as well as the ground, but they grow much better in the ground. Plant your rhododendrons where you plan to plant other plants. If you are going to have a large area of rhododendrons, it would be better to plant them in a single row rather than scattered all over the garden.

Where is the best place to plant a rhododendron?

They grow best when they are planted in a shady area where there are no trees, just grass, but are most happy if they get some sun.

The soil should be well-drained and not too rich, as they need to be watered regularly. They will tolerate a range of soils.

They can be grown from seed or cuttings. If you want to grow them from seed, plant them out in late spring and give them plenty of room to spread. Cuttings can be taken from the root stock in autumn, planted out in spring, or left to self-root.

Do rhododendrons grow fast?

They do. Rhododendron seeds should be planted in fall and the young plants pruned back to a height of 6-12 inches. When growth resumes in spring, keep them watered and fertilized. You may be able to start flowering by mid-summer. The best time to cut down the plants is just after flowering has ended. The plant will grow new shoots that will produce flowers next season.

How much space does a rhododendron need?

Rhododendrons are deciduous, flowering shrubs native to eastern Asia, Europe and North America. They have large, showy flowers that bloom in the spring. They can be planted as either container-grown plants or in the ground. Container-grown rhododendrons usually require a lot of room.

In the ground, they require some elbow room. The size of a rhododendron plant depends on the type of rhododendron you buy. Some types of rhododendrons, such as the hybrid 'Aztec Gold' and the hybrid 'Cascade', grow to about 12 feet tall. The hybrid 'Mardi Gras' grows to about 8 feet tall.


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. 

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