These large shrubs or trees bear simple leaves, sometimes with colourful fine hairs on the underside. In a normal spring, funnel or bell shaped flowers are displayed singularly or in short racemes, providing a beautiful spectacle. Rhododendrons are generally larger than Azaleas with larger leaves. Their flowers tend to have in the region of ten stamens, whilst Azeleas normally have fewer.
They are grown for their spectacular flowers, and alongside the other plants featured in the 'Ericaceous' group are ‘acid loving’ (lime hating), requiring an ericaceous, moist but well drained compost or soil, ideally with a pH of 4.5 — 6.0 or pH 7.0 (neutral) with careful application Iron Sulphide twice a year.
A great one for pots and containers if your garden soil is of a pH above 7.0. They shouldn’t be planted too deeply, as a surface-rooting plant, and thrive in a dappled shade, sheltered position. Rainwater is also preferred for watering purposes.