Dalhousie Rhododendron Rhododendron dalhousieae

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


The Rhododendron dalhousieae, more commonly known as a type of Rhododendron, is known for its striking flowers and lush foliage. It typically showcases large, funnel-shaped flowers that can vary in color, often found in soft shades that may include white, cream, or pale yellow. These flowers are noted for their prominent lobes and sometimes their delicate fragrance which can attract a variety of pollinators. The leaves of this Rhododendron species are equally impressive. They are generally large, leathery in texture, with a glossy, deep green upper surface that contrasts beautifully with the often lighter-colored undersides. Arranged spirally along the stems, the leaves can contribute to a dense canopy that adds to the overall lush appearance of the plant. In their natural habitat, this species of Rhododendron can be quite a spectacular sight, with their floral display and elegant foliage contributing to the unique characteristics that make this plant both distinctive and attractive to many gardeners and enthusiasts of the Rhododendron genus.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Dalhousie Rhododendron, Lady Dalhousie's Rhododendron.

    • Common names

      Rhododendron dalhousieae var. rhabdotum, Rhododendron griffithianum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Rhododendron dalhousieae, commonly known as Rhododendron, is a plant that contains toxic substances, including grayanotoxins. If ingested by humans, it can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), bradycardia (slow heart rate), and cardiac arrhythmias. In severe cases, consumption can result in coma or even death. It is important to avoid ingesting any part of the Rhododendron, as its toxicity can have serious consequences.

    • To pets

      Rhododendron dalhousieae, commonly known as Rhododendron, is toxic to pets as well. The plant contains grayanotoxins, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, and depression in pets. Severe symptoms include potential changes to heart rhythm and blood pressure, seizures, coma, and even death. Pets should not be allowed to ingest any part of a Rhododendron plant due to its toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Spread

      6 feet (1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Rhododendron dalhousieae, commonly known as Rhododendron, is highly valued for its large, attractive flowers and lush foliage, which make it a popular choice for gardens and parks.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The plant provides nectar for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, thereby supporting biodiversity.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system helps stabilize soil, making it beneficial for controlling erosion on slopes and in areas with loose soil.
    • Shade Provider: With its broad leaves, Rhododendron dalhousieae can create areas of shade, offering a cool respite in garden landscapes and natural settings.
    • Cultural Significance: Rhododendron species are often associated with various cultural practices and traditions, and are celebrated in festivals and garden shows.

  • 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

    • Rhododendrons can be used in landscaping to provide a natural privacy screen due to their size and dense foliage.
    • The blossoms of Rhododendron dalhousieae can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, yielding shades of pink and purple depending on the mordant used.
    • Some cultures use rhododendrons ceremonially, as their flowers often symbolize various meanings such as caution or danger, due to some species being toxic.
    • The leaves of the plant can be used in a compost heap to help regulate pH balance due to their acidic nature.
    • Due to their evergreen nature, rhododendrons can be used as wildlife shelters in gardens, providing year-round cover for birds and small animals.
    • The wood of Rhododendron dalhousieae is sometimes used for carving small decorative items or utensils, although not commonly due to its rarity.
    • Rhododendrons can be a source of nectar for honey production, though care must be taken to avoid toxic species which can lead to 'mad honey disease'.
    • Large rhododendron bushes can act as windbreaks in gardens, protecting other plants from strong winds and erosion.
    • The flowers are sometimes used in floral arrangements or worn as boutonnieres in areas where they are abundantly available.
    • Incorporating rhododendrons into a garden can help support biodiversity, as they provide habitat and food sources for various insects and fauna.

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

    • Beauty - The Rhododendron, with its large, attractive flowers, is often seen as a symbol of beauty and splendor.
    • Elegance - The species Rhododendron dalhousieae, in particular, has a sophisticated charm, representing elegance and refined beauty.
    • Caution - Some species of rhododendrons are toxic, and thus they can represent caution or danger.
    • Abundance - The abundance of flowers in large clusters can symbolize wealth, prosperity, and abundance.
    • Survival - Rhododendrons are hardy plants capable of surviving in challenging conditions, symbolizing strength and the ability to overcome adversity.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Rhododendron, commonly known as the rhodie, prefers evenly moist soil that is not oversaturated. Water the plant deeply once a week, providing about one inch of water each time, which translates to approximately 0.6 gallons for an average-sized plant. During hot, dry periods, this may need to be increased to twice per week. Ensure that the soil has good drainage to prevent root rot. It’s crucial not to let the rhodie dry out completely, but also to avoid waterlogging as both can lead to plant stress and damage.

  • sunLight

    Rhododendrons thrive in dappled sunlight or partial shade, making them ideal for spots that receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade, or light filtered through a canopy of trees. They can tolerate full sun in cooler climates, but in warmer areas, they should be protected from the harsh afternoon sun to prevent leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Rhododendrons maintain good health in a temperature range from 50°F to 80°F, which is ideal for their growth. They can tolerate a winter low down to 20°F but may suffer damage if the temperature drops further. During hot summer days, temperatures above 90°F can stress the plant, so it should be situated in a location that avoids excessive heat.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune rhododendrons in late winter or early spring before new growth starts to remove dead or diseased branches and to maintain a compact shape. Pruning immediately after blooming ensures that you won't accidentally remove next year's buds. Light pruning can be done yearly, but more extensive shaping should be done less frequently as the plant recovers slowly from heavy cuts.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Rhododendron dalhousieae, commonly known as Rhododendron, thrives best in well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A blend of 50% peat moss or coir, 30% pine bark, and 20% perlite is ideal for ensuring proper drainage and aeration. Regularly check the pH to maintain soil acidity, and adjust with sulfur or peat moss if necessary.

  • plantRepotting

    Rhododendron dalhousieae should be repotted every 2-3 years to prevent root-bound conditions and replenish nutrients. Spring is the best time for repotting to allow the plant to establish in its new container before the growing season. When repotting, choose a container only slightly larger than the current one to avoid water retention issues.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Rhododendron dalhousieae prefers high humidity environments, thriving best at levels between 60% and 80%. To maintain these conditions, use a humidity tray or room humidifier, and ensure the plant is not placed near heat sources or drafts that can dry out the air.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade, protect from strong winds, and ensure acidic soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron dalhousieae, also known as the Dalhousie Rhododendron, begins its life cycle when seeds are dispersed from mature capsules, often with the help of wind or gravity. Upon landing in a favorable substrate, which is typically acidic, organic-rich, and well-drained soil, the seeds germinate, and a seedling emerges, gradually developing true leaves. As a juvenile plant, it prioritizes establishing a root system and foliage, and might stay in this vegetative phase for several years before maturity. Once mature, the Dalhousie Rhododendron enters its reproductive phase, blossoming annually in spring to early summer with large, showy flowers that attract pollinators for sexual reproduction. After pollination, seeds develop within the fruits (capsules), which eventually mature and open to release seeds, completing the cycle. Throughout its life, the plant undergoes periods of active growth and dormancy, aligned with the seasonal climate of its habitat.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Rhododendron dalhousieae, often simply referred to as rhododendron, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This process typically takes place in the late summer after the plant has finished blooming and the new growth has started to mature and stiffen slightly. To execute this method, cut a 4 to 6-inch (around 10 to 15 cm) length of stem from a healthy parent plant, just below a node. The leaves on the lower half of the cutting are removed, and the cut end is often treated with a rooting hormone to increase the likelihood of successful rooting. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a potting mixture of peat and perlite or a similar well-draining medium, and maintained in a humid environment at a temperature of around 70 to 75°F (approximately 21 to 24°C), often under the protection of a plastic cover to retain moisture. Roots usually develop within a few weeks to a few months, after which the new plant can be gradually acclimatized and eventually transplanted to its final location.