Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
Rhododendron is made up of 500 to 900 species and includes both azaleas and rhododendrons. Most are evergreen but there are some are deciduous. They can reach anywhere from 1-6ft tall and wide. Most plants will have large, dark green, oval leaves that have fuzz on the underneath side. They are grown primarily for their attractive spring flowers and for the evergreen types for their attractive winter foliage. True rhododendrons have 10 stamens in a flower and azaleas have only 5. Flowers can be white, red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, or dual-toned.
Azalea (Azalea spp.)
Deciduous azaleas –
These azaleas tend to grow in an upright habit usually taller than evergreen azaleas. Varieties range in height from 8 -15ft tall and 3-6ft wide. Blooms are tubular with long stamens that stretch beyond their petals, bright colorful flowers begin to open in the spring. Colors can be dual-toned, white, purple, pink, red, orange or yellow. Fall foliage offers a colorful surprise before they fall off usually being yellow and orange. Football shaped large leaves (up to 6” long) are solid green. These azaleas can handle full sun to part shade.
Evergreen azaleas –
These azaleas require part shade, protection from direct sun and wind. Evergreen azaleas rarely need pruning (if shaping is required then pruning should be done immediately after flowering). Plants grow 6 feet or less with a mounded shape. Spring blooming but many varieties also bloom a second time in the fall. These azaleas bloom in a few different of forms including the standard round petals, strap-like or star-shaped. Flower color is white, red, orange, pink, purple or dual-toned.