Lavender rhododendrons are the go-to for any homeowner looking for a stunning specimen plant or lively hedge that gives year-round visual interest while requiring little maintenance. These drought- and pest-resistant rhododendrons have leathery green leaves year-round and grow fragrant, deep lilac blooms in spring. Their only real downside is their shallow root system, but a healthy dose of mulch can take care of that.

Lavender Rhododendrons at a Glance

  • Gorgeous, lilac blooms in clusters of 8-10
  • Fragrant blossoms
  • Compact size perfect for smaller spaces
  • Year-round visual interest
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Shallow root systems


Lavender rhododendrons grow in a rounded shape. They have deep green leaves with a leathery look that keep their color year-round. In spring, deep lilac bell-shaped blooms emerge. Clusters consist of 8-10 flowers each.

Lavender rhododendrons are compact, growing to 4-5 feet tall with a 4-5 foot spread.


AppearanceRounded shape with deep green, leathery leaves that keep color year-round. Deep lilac bell-shaped blooms in spring
Height4-5 feet
Hardiness ZonesZones 5-8
Type of treeEvergreen
Sunlight requirementsFull sun to partial shade
Soil compositionHighly adaptable but prefers acidic, moist, well-draining soil

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the regions where plants can grow based on minimum winter temperatures. Lavender rhododendrons grow in Zones 5-8—across most of the country. They do not grow as far south as southern Texas or Florida.


The best time to plant lavender rhododendrons is early spring or fall. We recommend taking these steps:

  • Choose a sheltered planting site that receives full sun or partial shade.
  • Clear away any turfgrass, debris, or weeds.
  • Dig a hole that is the same depth as the root ball and twice as wide.
  • Remove the Lavender rhododendron from its container and place it in the center of the hole. You want its roots to be slightly below the soil level. If you plant them too deep, their shallow root systems may suffer from root rot.
  • Begin backfilling the hole. Stop halfway and water deeply to settle the soil. Then, continue filling the hole.
  • Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the root zone to preserve moisture, being careful not to touch the trunk.

Growing Conditions

Lavender rhododendrons are low-maintenance, highly adaptable to a wide range of soils, and able to grow under varying light conditions.

Sun and shade

Lavender rhododendrons can grow in full sun to partial shade. For the most robust flower growth, plant them in full sun or at least ensure they get six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.


Lavender rhododendrons are highly adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, with a preference for acidic, moist, organically rich, and well-draining soil. Well-draining is a required feature if you want to avoid root rot. If you have heavy clay soil, consider planting in a raised bed.


Lavender rhododendrons require an average amount of water. Water them deeply once per week or slightly more often during summer dry spells. Do not water if the top two inches of the soil are already moist—you can test this by inserting your finger into the soil.


Feed your Lavender rhododendron in early spring as the new buds start to emerge. Use a slow-release, nitrogen-rich fertilizer with an NPK value of 10-8-6. Read the package carefully—you could burn your Lavender rhododendron with too much fertilizer.


Lavender rhododendrons do not require pruning unless you notice dead, damaged, or diseased branches. You should clip those any time you see them. However, if you just want to prune to maintain shape or reduce height, only prune in spring after flowering.

Frequently Asked Questions

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