Augustin's Rhododendron Rhododendron augustinii

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Augustine's rhododendron


Rhododendron augustinii, commonly known as Augustine's rhododendron, is a visually striking species admired for its ornamental features. The plant is known for its vibrant blooms, which typically emerge in spring. The flowers are bell-shaped and grow in clusters. These blossoms exhibit a captivating shade of bluish to lavender-purple, often with a hint of pinkish or reddish-purple, depending on the individual plant. The petals may occasionally display small speckles or markings that add to their charm. The leaves of Augustine's rhododendron are also attractive, contributing to the plant's overall aesthetic appeal. They are elongated and leathery, with a glossy, deep green color that provides a perfect backdrop for the bright flowers. The foliage is evergreen, ensuring year-round interest even when the blossoms have faded. The plant itself has a bushy habit, often with multiple stems contributing to a full, lush appearance. The branches hold the leaves and flowers in such a way that, during the blooming period, the plant becomes a dense mass of color. Overall, Augustine's rhododendron captivates the eyes with its striking flowers and rich foliage, serving as a prized addition to any garden space where it can flourish without consideration of its size.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Augustine's Rhododendron, Augustine Rhododendron

    • Common names

      Rhododendron augustinii.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Augustin's rhododendron is known to be toxic to humans if any part of the plant is ingested. The toxicity results from the presence of grayanotoxins, which can affect the sodium channels in cell membranes. Symptoms of poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, loss of coordination, leg paralysis, and coma. In severe cases, cardiac problems may occur, which can be life-threatening. Care should be taken to avoid consuming any part of the plant.

    • To pets

      The Augustin's rhododendron is toxic to pets such as cats, dogs, and horses. It contains grayanotoxins that can cause symptoms similar to those seen in humans, including vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, incoordination, depression, cardiovascular collapse, and potentially death. Immediate veterinary care is imperative if a pet is suspected to have ingested any part of this plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-5 feet (0.9-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      3-5 feet (0.9-1.5 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value - Rhododendron augustinii, commonly known as the Augustin's rhododendron, is highly prized for its showy flowers which enhance garden aesthetics.
    • Habitat Support - It provides shelter and breeding grounds for various species of birds and insects, contributing to biodiversity in the garden.
    • Soil Erosion Control - With its extensive root system, it helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Privacy Screen - Its dense foliage can serve as a natural privacy barrier when planted as a hedge or in groups.
    • Shade Provider - The plant can offer shade in a garden setting, reducing soil temperature and moisture loss during hot weather.
    • Seasonal Interest - It has the ability to add color and interest to the garden throughout its blooming season, often in the early spring.
    • Wildlife Attractor - The flowers can attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees, promoting pollination of nearby plants.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Artistic inspiration: Rhododendron augustinii's vivid blue flowers can be used by artists and designers as a natural reference for color palettes and aesthetic inspiration.
    • Photographic subject: The plant is popular among photographers, especially in garden and macro photography, due to its striking blooms.
    • Cooking decoration: The petals of Rhododendron augustinii, though not commonly consumed, can be used as a decorative element for plating and presentation in high-end culinary dishes.
    • Dye source: The richly colored flowers can provide a natural dye for fabrics, although this use is not widespread and requires careful preparation due to potential toxicity.
    • Cultural symbol: In certain cultures, the Rhododendron augustinii may symbolize various attributes, such as elegance or caution, and can be used in art and literature.
    • Educational resource: Botany students and educators can use the plant as a case study for understanding the Rhododendron genus and plant taxonomy.
    • Landscape photography: The natural habitats of Rhododendron augustinii, often picturesque and mountainous regions, are an attractive subject for landscape photographers.
    • Festival decoration: In regions where Rhododendron augustinii blooms, its flowers may be used during local festivals for decoration and themes.
    • Collector's item: Horticulturists and plant enthusiasts may cultivate Rhododendron augustinii as a rare specimen within their plant collections.
    • Species conservation: Due to its specific habitat requirements, the plant can serve as a flagship species for conservation efforts focused on preserving its native landscapes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Rhododendron is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Rhododendron is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Beware: Rhododendrons, in general, are known to contain toxic substances, and historically have been associated with caution or danger when encountered in the wild.
    • Elegance: The Rhododendron augustinii, also known as the Augustine rhododendron, has elegant flowers that often symbolize sophistication and beauty in the world of plants.
    • Abundance: With its lush blooms and full appearance, the Augustine rhododendron is often seen as a symbol of abundance and growth.
    • Endurance: Rhododendrons are hardy plants that can survive in challenging environments, making them a symbol of endurance and strength.
    • Temperance: The plant's toxic qualities can be seen as a reminder of temperance and the importance of moderation.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Augustin Rhododendron, water it thoroughly once a week, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. It's essential to adjust the frequency based on the weather conditions; during hot, dry periods, increase watering to twice a week. Typically, providing about 1 gallon of water per week for each plant is sufficient to maintain proper hydration. During the winter months, cut back on watering as the plant requires less moisture due to dormancy.

  • sunLight

    The Augustin Rhododendron thrives best in dappled shade or partial sunlight conditions. A spot that receives morning light and afternoon shade would be ideal, as it protects the plant from the intense heat of the midday sun. Ensure it is sheltered from strong winds which can damage the foliage and blooms.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Augustin Rhododendron can handle a temperature range between 20°F in the winter and up to 80°F during the growing season. However, it prefers a mild temperature range of 50°F to 75°F. Sudden frosts below 20°F or prolonged exposure to temperatures exceeding 80°F can be detrimental to the plant's health.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Augustin Rhododendron immediately after flowering to maintain its shape and promote bushier growth. Remove any dead or diseased wood, and thin out dense areas to improve air circulation. Pruning is typically done annually, and the best time is in late spring, just after the bloom cycle has completed.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Augustinium Rhododendron thrives in acidic soil with a pH range of 4.5 to 6.0. The best soil mix should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. A blend comprising equal parts of peat moss, pine bark, and perlite or coarse sand is ideal, providing aeration and moisture retention. Regularly check soil acidity, as these plants are sensitive to alkaline conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    The Augustinium Rhododendron should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its container. It's best to repot in the spring just before new growth starts. Use the recommended acidic soil mix and ensure the new pot has ample drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Augustinium Rhododendron prefers moderate to high humidity levels, ideally around 50-60%. Maintaining adequate humidity is important for their health, especially during the dry months of winter or in arid climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with high humidity and acidic soil.

    • Outdoor

      Partial shade, acidic soil, mulch well, protect from harsh sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron augustinii, commonly known as Augustine's rhododendron, begins its life cycle with seed germination in suitable acidic, well-drained soil and partial shade conditions. The seedling slowly develops into a young plant with a fibrous root system, establishing itself with evergreen leaves. As it matures, this rhododendron species forms a woody stem and starts to produce distinctive clusters of bell-shaped, lilac or blue flowers in spring. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers develop into dehiscent seed capsules that release numerous small seeds when ripe. The plant continues to grow and can achieve a substantial size, often reaching heights of up to 3 meters. Augustine's rhododendron can live for many decades, going through repeated cycles of growth, flowering, and seed production throughout its lifespan.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Rhododendron augustinii, commonly known as Augustine's rhododendron, is by semi-hardwood cuttings. This method tends to be the best balance between ease and effectiveness. Ideally, this should be done in the late summer after the blooms have faded and new growth has started to mature. Cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches long, with the lower leaves removed. The cut end of the cutting is dipped into a rooting hormone to encourage root development and then inserted into a mix of peat and perlite or a well-draining potting medium. High humidity and warmth are maintained to encourage rooting, often by placing the cuttings in a covered propagator or by covering them with a plastic bag. Roots typically form within a couple of months, after which the new plants can be gradually acclimated to less humid conditions before eventual planting out.