Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Trees, Shrubs, & Vines
Rhododendrons of the Year
by Susan Littlefield
With their large showy flowers and attractive foliage, rhododendrons and azaleas are popular landscape plants across the country. But there are so many to choose from! How do you select the ones that will do the best in your garden? That's where the American Rhododendron Society can help! Every year, for eight geographical regions in the U.S., they select plants that have excellent flowers and foliage, an attractive habit, good pest and disease resistance, and are hardy and well-adapted to a specific region.
For seven of the regions -- Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Northwest, South Central, Southeast, and Southwest -- four plants have been chosen, including a elepidote and a lepidote rhododendron, and a deciduous and evergreen azalea. For the warm weather Hawaii/ Southern California region, a vireya rhododendron has been selected. For each selection, you'll find a picture and information on appearance, growth habit, and hardiness. Some selections are cultivars, while some are species, like the deciduous flame azalea R. calendulaceum (pictured) that is one of the 2014 selections for the Mid-Atlantic region.
To find all the 2014 Rhododendron of the Year selections , as well as information on growing rhodies and azaleas, go to American Rhododendron Society .