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
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
Another resource provided at the ARS web site are the
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.