Alphabetical Plant Listing

Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Small Gardens

Deciduous Azaleas, Evergreen Azaleas, Lepidote Rhododendrons, Elepidote Rhododendrons


Azaleas and Rhododendrons are highly popular ornamental shrubs that come in all shapes and sizes, from small, ground-hugging shrubs to large, tree-like specimens. Their flowers range from tiny and delicate blossoms to huge 'trusses' counting up to 25 flowers! Some enjoy a wonderful foliage adding glorious fall color to the landscape, others are deliciously fragrant. All are fascinating.

If your garden is small, you need to choose Azaleas and Rhododendrons that won’t overwhelm the space or create a maintenance chore for you, so try to select a smaller variety.

  • Choose varieties that will grow in scale appropriate for your landscape needs. Rhododendrons have no final size and can grow almost indefinitely. They range from dwarf, ground-hugging varieties which may reach 16 in. in 10 years (40 cm) to giant tree-like specimens as tall as 20 ft. or more (6 m). Both moisture and the length of the growing season will have a serious impact on their growth rate. Some Rhododendrons will enjoy a fast growth rate (2 ft. per or 60 cm) while others will slowly grow less than 0.5 in. per year (1cm). 
  • If you choose plants that are the right size to begin with, they are relatively maintenance free. If not, Azaleas and Rhododendrons can be pruned to be kept small. Most varieties can be cut back if they get too large, with the exception of some species with smooth bark which will not regenerate. All small leaved Rhododendrons (Lepidote Rhododendrons) and deciduous or evergreen Azaleas can be cut back or pruned. 

The following is a list of compact, dwarf to medium-size Azaleas and Rhododendrons  famed for their flowers. Most of them have been recognized as proven performers and have received the Rhododendron of the Year Award of the American Rhododendron Society and/or the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Azaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Winter
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Compare All Azaleas - Rhododendrons Compare All Rhododendrons - Azaleas Great Plant Combination Ideas with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rhododendrons - Azaleas Guides with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Guides with Rhododendrons - Azaleas

mexrix / 123RF Stock Photoalfotokunst / 123RF Stock Photo

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 3 - 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Azaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Winter
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Small Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Compare All Azaleas - Rhododendrons Compare All Rhododendrons - Azaleas Great Plant Combination Ideas with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rhododendrons - Azaleas Guides with Azaleas - Rhododendrons Guides with Rhododendrons - Azaleas

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