Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Northern California

Deciduous Azaleas, Evergreen Azaleas, Lepidote Rhododendrons, Elepidote Rhododendrons

  • Northern California Azaleas, Northern California Rhododendrons, Northern California Deciduous Azaleas, Northern California Evergreen Azaleas,

Azaleas and Rhododendrons, with their magnificent flowers, are one of the best-loved sights of spring. Producing a blaze of color from early spring through the summer, and even into the fall, Azaleas and Rhododendrons are popular ornamental shrubs for gardens of all sizes. Evergreen or deciduous, they come in all shapes and sizes, from small, ground-hugging shrubs to large, tree-like specimens. Their flowers range from the tiny and delicate blossoms of floriferous dwarf shrubs to the huge clusters or 'trusses' of tall growing hybrids and species. Some are fragrant and others enjoy a wonderful foliage adding glorious fall color to the landscape. All are fascinating.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons are members of the genus Rhododendron, one of the largest genera in the plant world which includes over 900 species and over 20,000 named hybrids of Rhododendrons and Azaleas. However, perhaps a few hundred are available in the West. 

The following is a list of Azaleas and Rhododendrons recognized as proven performers in Northern California. Most of them have received the Rhododendron of the Year Award of the American Rhododendron Society. To be selected for such an award, a plant must have excellent foliage and flowers, have an attractive plant habit, be pest and disease resistant and be cold hardy for the region.

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 7 – 9  
Heat Zones 5 – 8
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant TypeShrubs
Plant FamilyAzaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
ExposureFull Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Water NeedsAverage
Soil TypeClay, Loam, Sand
Soil PhAcid
Soil DrainageMoist but Well-Drained
CharacteristicsFragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
AttractsButterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden

Northern California Plant Combination Ideas

Guides with Rhododendrons - Azaleas

Guides with Azaleas - Rhododendrons

Northern California Guides


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