Alphabetical Plant Listing

Fragrant Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Deciduous Azaleas, Evergreen Azaleas, Lepidote Rhododendrons, Elepidote Rhododendrons


Azaleas and Rhododendrons, with their voluptuous flowers, are one of the best-loved sights of spring. But did you know that they are not just meant to be seen? Were you aware that they can also fill the air with delightful scents, running from spicy to sweet to intoxicating?

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. These highly popular ornamental shrubs 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 'trusses' of tall growing hybrids and species. Some feature a wonderful foliage adding glorious fall color to the landscape, others are deliciously fragrant. All are fascinating.

There are many fragrant Rhododendron species and hybrids to pick from, some being so strongly perfumed that they will stop you as you walk past with their heady scent hanging in the air. The following is a list of fragrant Azaleas and Rhododendrons with staggering blossoms and reliable performances. 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. Some are tender and should be grown as patio plants or plants for the conservatory in cool winter areas, others are incredibly hardy and can withstand temperatures are low as -25°F (-32°C).

Be aware that fragrance fluctuates with temperature (on a warm day you will smell more perfume in the air), weather (strongest during damp mild weather), time of day (most noticeable in the early morning or evening). Each of us has our own peculiarly individual perception of smell too! 

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Azaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
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 Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders
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

mlane53 / 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 4 - 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Azaleas - Rhododendrons, Rhododendrons - Azaleas
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
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 Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers, Wall-Side Borders
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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