Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are the perfect spring-flowering shrub for bringing colour into your garden. They come in all colours of the rainbow and most produce many clusters of flowers. They are easy to grow and low maintenance. No need to prune them unless they grow out over a sidewalk. They look especially wonderful in large gardens or parks where there is space for them to grow. A large rhododendron in bloom is a spectacular sight.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -
Rhododendron Madame Masson

When I look outside my window into the garden, I see two large spots of colour, one yellow, one orange. The azaleas in the front garden are in bloom. As I wrote in What’s blooming in the garden: May azaleas are a type of rhododendron. We have several varieties of rhododendron in the garden. They have flowers in different sizes, and in all colours except red. Yellow and orange are not colours I would choose for the garden. The azaleas were already here when we bought the house.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -
Azalea Gold Dust

I like plants with pink and purple blooms. White, blue and violet flowers are welcome as well. Should I remove my yellow and orange azalea? Maybe I will one day. At the moment, I have more important things to do.

The language of flowers

The name rhododendron comes from the ancient Greek rhodo, meaning rose and dendron, meaning tree. In the Victorian language of flowers, rhododendron means danger, beware. Maybe because both leaves and flowers are poisonous. Most animals avoid it. People have been known to become ill from eating honey made by bees feeding on rhododendron and azalea flowers.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -
Azalea Pink Delight


May is rhododendron month where I live. They like acidic soil and apparently that’s what we have. They grow well and abundantly here. Many of our neighbours grow rhododendrons as hedges. They grow in public parks and even in the middle of roundabouts. In the wild, they are woodland plants and they do grow in the nearby forest, even though I don’t think these are wild.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -
Rhododendron Blue Peter

What is the difference between rhododendrons and azaleas?

Azaleas make up two subgroups of Rhododendron. Azaleas are generally small-sized, small-leaved and small-flowered shrubs. Rhododendrons can become very large, growing to roof height. They have large, leathery, glossy dark green leaves. Unlike rhododendrons, many azalea plants lose their leaves in winter. Once rhododendrons are done flowering, they provide a dark evergreen backdrop for the rest of the year.


I think it is important to consider the foliage along with the flowers when you are choosing plants. For 11 months of the year, you have only the leaves to enjoy. I think you can tell I prefer rhododendrons over azaleas.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -
Rhododendron Diorama

The arboretum

Last week I visited the arboretum in Doorn. An arboretum is a collection of trees and shrubs. The arboretum tries to preserve these plants for future generations to enjoy. I visited the arboretum last autumn to see the leaves change colour. The arboretum has a great collection of acers, Japanese maple trees. It also has one of the largest rhododendron collections of the Netherlands. Most pictures in this post were taken at the arboretum. If you have the opportunity to visit a rhododendron garden, please do so. I am sure you will enjoy the flower spectacle.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons -
Rhododendron Mrs. Furnival

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Flower lover, aspiring gardener, blogger, amateur photographer.

9 thoughts on “Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons”

  1. Oooh ik vind oranje en geel juist heel mooi bij azaleas en rodos zeker als het grote gezonde struiken zijn!
    Zo zie je maar smaken verschillen!
    Wist je dat er ook rodos zijn met bont blad ?
    Dat oogt wat frisser als ze zijn uitgebloeid

    1. Dan vind je de oranje azalea in onze tuin vast prachtig. Het is ook een hele mooie struik, met heel veel bloemen. Maar ik vind roze gewoon mooier! De roze met oranje vlekje in mijn blogpost vind ik dan wel weer heel mooi 😉

  2. Hi Pauline,
    Als je volgende keer naar arboretum gaat, rijd een kilometertje door voor een kopje koffie ?

  3. What a sweet collection of little vases. They will come in handy during the summer.
    Must have been very enjoyable to stroll past all those lovely shrubs.
    BTW, they overwinter in pots or tubs. I usually put them out of sight when the flowers are gone. They are much tougher than we assume. As are camellias, even though they all look exotic.

  4. Just a random thought – ‘envious’ [of my lilac] would be slightly better than ‘jealous’ , even though that word resembles your word ‘jaloers’.
    But, about my lilac: it is pretty pathetic. I used to have a double-flowered white lilac in my previous garden. That was classy.

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