Create Your Garden

Rhododendron arborescens (Sweet Azalea)

Sweet Azalea, Smooth Azalea, Azalea arborescens, Rhododendron 'Arborescens', Deciduous Azalea, Late Season Rhododendron, Very Late Season Rhododendron

AGM Award
Rhododendron Arborescens, Sweet Azalea, Smooth Azalea, Azalea arborescens, Rhododendron 'Arborescens', Deciduous Azalea, Late Season Rhododendron, Very Late Season Rhododendron, Fragrant Rhododendron, White Rhododendron, White Flowering Shrub
Rhododendron Arborescens, Sweet Azalea, Smooth Azalea, Azalea arborescens, Rhododendron 'Arborescens', Deciduous Azalea, Late Season Rhododendron, Very Late Season Rhododendron, Fragrant Rhododendron, White Rhododendron, White Flowering Shrub

Noted for its strongly-scented flowers and attractive fall foliage, Rhododendron arborescens, commonly known as Sweet Azalea or Smooth Azalea, is a very appealing native to eastern North America. This large, deciduous shrub bears funnel-shaped, white flowers up to 2 in. wide (5 cm), often tinged pink, with protruding red stamens that extend elegantly beyond the petals. Held in small clusters of 3-7 flowers, they bloom profusely in early to midsummer and exude a strong perfume of heliotrope. The foliage of elliptic, glossy green leaves turns deep red to purple in fall for a memorable display. Cold hardy, this late season Azalea can withstand temperatures as low as -15°F ( -26°C). A wonderful landscape plant, Sweet Azalea is prized for its late, showy white flowers with their red stamens and stigma and their marvelous fragrance.

  • Maybe the tallest and fastest growing of the US native Azaleas, Sweet Azalea grows up to 5-6 ft. tall and wide (150-180 cm).
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moist, acidic, humusywell-drained soils. Plant shallowly in a location protected from strong winter winds. Protect from frost to prevent damage to flowers. Mulch annually with leaf mold to retain moisture, control weeds, and cool the soil.
  • Perfect for shrub borders or mixed borders and shade gardens.
  • Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and birds.
  • Removing spent flowers promotes new growth.
  • All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.

Rhododendron and Azalea: How To Grow And Care with Success


Want to learn how to grow and care for rhododendron and azalea flowers like a pro? Follow these simple steps and enjoy their beauty

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 4 - 9
Climate Zones 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ericaceae
Genus Rhododendron
Common names Rhododendron, Azalea
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid)
Fall
Height 5' - 6'
(150cm - 180cm)
Spread 5' - 6'
(150cm - 180cm)
Spacing 60" - 72"
(150cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Rhododendron
Guides with
Rhododendron
Not sure which Rhododendron to pick?
Compare Now

Alternative Plants to Consider

Rhododendron Autumn Royalty
Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific Rhododendron)
Rhododendron alabamense (Alabama Azalea)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (Pinxterbloom Azalea)
Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba Rosebay)
Rhododendron maximum (Great Laurel)

Recommended Companion Plants

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian Bugloss)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)
Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone)
Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘Excelsior’ (Spanish Bluebells)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)
Hamamelis (Witch Hazel)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Pure White Flowers for a Touch of Elegance in Your Garden
45 Terrific Shrubs for Stunning Container Gardens
Choosing Your Ideal Hedge: A Guide to Top Shrubs for Any Garden
Small Evergreen Shrubs for Year-Round Appeal
Add a Splash of Color: Perfect Flowering Shrubs for Small Gardens
40 Beautiful Native Shrubs for Shade
30 Best Spring Flowers to Spruce up Your Garden
Azalea and Rhododendron
Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Rock Gardens
Great Ferns as Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Rhododendron and Azalea: How To Grow And Care with Success
Great Hostas as Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Great Bulbs and Perennials as Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Best Shrubs as Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Northern California
Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for the Midwest
Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for the Pacific Northwest Region
Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for New England
Beautiful Azaleas and Rhododendrons for the Mid-Atlantic Region
Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Small Gardens
Extend the Blooming Season of your Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Azaleas and Rhododendrons with Attractive Fall Colors
Fragrant Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Hardiest Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Choosing Perfect Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Best Companion Plants for Azaleas and Rhododendrons
Azaleas and Rhododendrons: What is the Difference?
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.
Buy Plants

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 4 - 9
Climate Zones 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ericaceae
Genus Rhododendron
Common names Rhododendron, Azalea
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid)
Fall
Height 5' - 6'
(150cm - 180cm)
Spread 5' - 6'
(150cm - 180cm)
Spacing 60" - 72"
(150cm - 180cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Rhododendron
Guides with
Rhododendron
Not sure which Rhododendron to pick?
Compare Now

Gardening Ideas

Plant Calculator

How many Rhododendron arborescens (Sweet Azalea) do I need for my garden?

Input your garden space dimensions

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Rhododendron arborescens (Sweet Azalea) N/A Buy Plants

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone