Azalea Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' (Ea/d)

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


The Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' boasts a remarkable display of color and form, making it a stunning addition to any garden. One of its most captivating features is the abundant blossoms that grace the plant. The flowers of 'Elsie Lee' are semi-double, meaning they have a fuller appearance than single blooms, with layers of petals creating a lush, ornamental look. These beautiful flowers exhibit a soft lavender-pink hue that can vary with the temperature and lighting conditions, providing a soothing and attractive palette. The petals have a delicate, velvety texture which enhances the luxurious feeling of the bloom. Edging the petals, a subtle ruffling can be observed, offering a frilled effect that adds to their charm. The leaves of 'Elsie Lee' are no less impressive, with a rich green color and a glossy finish that complements the bright blossoms. They are typically elongated and leathery, contributing to the plant's evergreen nature, which means that the Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' maintains its foliage year-round. This continuous green backdrop allows the flowers to stand out magnificently when they come into bloom. Together, the flowers and foliage create a dense, mound-like appearance, presenting a lush and opulent aesthetic. With its gorgeous blooms and attractive leaves, the Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' is a delightful spectacle that can capture the attention and admiration of onlookers during its flowering season.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Elsie Lee Azalea

    • Common names

      Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Rhododendron, including the 'Elsie Lee' variety, contains toxic compounds called grayanotoxins. These toxins can be harmful if any part of the plant is ingested. Symptoms of rhododendron poisoning in humans may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, central nervous system depression, cardiovascular collapse, and potentially death. It is important to seek medical attention if ingestion is suspected.

    • To pets

      Rhododendron is toxic to pets as well, including cats and dogs. Ingesting any part of the plant can lead to symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, tremors, seizures, cardiac problems, and even coma. Severity can vary based on the amount ingested and the size of the pet. If you suspect your pet has ingested rhododendron, it is critical to seek veterinary attention immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: 'Elsie Lee' azalea adds vibrant color and beauty to gardens with its attractive lavender-pink blooms that can enhance the visual appeal of any landscape.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers of 'Elsie Lee' azalea attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, contributing to the health of the garden ecosystem.
    • Seasonal Interest: This azalea variety provides seasonal interest with its spring blossoms, adding a splash of color after the winter months.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: 'Elsie Lee' azalea can be used in a variety of landscaping designs, including borders, foundation plantings, and as a specimen plant.
    • Hardy Nature: It is a relatively hardy plant that can withstand different garden conditions with proper care, making it a reliable choice for gardeners.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, 'Elsie Lee' azalea requires minimal maintenance, making it ideal for gardeners who desire a beautiful garden with less effort.

  • 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 are often used in bonsai cultivation, where their natural beauty and blooming flowers can be sculpted into miniature artistic forms through careful pruning and training.
    • The wood of rhododendron is sometimes utilized in the creation of small wooden items such as bowls, handles, and carving art, particularly by artisans who specialize in utilizing local botanical resources.
    • Rhododendron flowers are edible and can be used as a garnish for salads, desserts, or drinks, adding a vibrant touch of color and a mild floral flavor.
    • Dye can be extracted from the flowers and leaves of rhododendrons, providing natural colors for textiles and crafts.
    • Rhododendron leaves can be included in floral arrangements or used as greenery in wreaths and other decorative pieces due to their evergreen nature and attractive foliage.
    • The plant can play a role in educational gardens or botanical displays to demonstrate various plant breeding techniques or the variety of flower forms in the Rhododendron genus.
    • In some cultures, rhododendron flowers are used in religious ceremonies or festivals as offerings or decorations, symbolizing various cultural meanings or seasonal celebrations.
    • Rhododendron can be incorporated into living fences or privacy screens, providing both aesthetic and functional benefits to garden landscapes.
    • The plant's habit of creating thick undergrowth is helpful in stabilizing soil and preventing erosion on slopes or areas with loose soil.
    • Rhododendron thickets can serve as valuable habitat for wildlife, offering shelter and nesting sites for birds and small mammals.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Azalea is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Azalea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Caution or Beware: Rhododendrons, including the 'Elsie Lee' variety, often symbolize caution due to their toxic leaves and nectar, which can be harmful if ingested.
    • Elegance and Wealth: The Rhododendron's lush, vibrant blooms are associated with sophistication and abundance, making them emblematic of prosperity.
    • Agility and Passion for Life: The robust and hearty nature of the Rhododendron reflects a spirit of vitality and enthusiasm.
    • Homecoming and Reunion: In certain cultures, the Rhododendron is a symbol of returning home or gathering, as its blooming often coincides with late spring and early summer.
    • Temporal Beauty: The relatively short blooming period of the Rhododendron serves as a reminder of the fleeting nature of beauty.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Azaleas, including the 'Elsie Lee' variety, prefer moist but well-drained soil, so it's important to maintain a balance in watering. It's best to water deeply every week during the growing season, ensuring that you are supplying about one inch of water which can be equivalent to around 0.623 gallons per square foot of soil. During periods of high heat or drought, increase the frequency to twice a week but always check the soil moisture before watering. In the winter, reduce watering since the plant requires less moisture due to dormancy. Avoid overhead watering to prevent leaf issues, and instead focus water directly to the base of the plant.

  • sunLight

    The 'Elsie Lee' azalea thrives in partial shade to full sun; however, protection from harsh afternoon sun is ideal to prevent leaf scorch. A spot that receives morning sunlight and dappled shade in the afternoon is perfect. Under these conditions, the azaleas can produce abundant blooms and maintain healthy foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The 'Elsie Lee' azalea is hardy and can withstand a range of temperatures but grows best when the temperature is between 50°F and 80°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about -10°F, making it suitable for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8. During winter, ensure that the plant is protected from harsh frosts and extreme cold winds.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune 'Elsie Lee' azaleas immediately after they finish blooming in the spring to shape the plant or remove any dead or damaged branches. This timing ensures that you do not accidentally cut off next year's buds, which are set shortly after blooming. Pruning once a year is generally enough to keep the plant healthy and well-shaped.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' requires well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A mix containing 50% organic matter such as pine bark, 25% peat moss, and 25% perlite or coarse sand would be ideal. Mulching with pine needles can also help maintain soil acidity and moisture.

  • plantRepotting

    Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil and address any potential root bounding. Early spring, just before new growth starts, is the best time to repot these plants.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee' thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally ranging from 50% to 60%. Although they can tolerate lower humidity, sustained levels below 30% might cause problems such as leaf curl and brown edges.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep in partial shade; water when top soil feels dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade, mulch well, protect from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee', commonly known as the 'Elsie Lee' azalea, begins its life cycle as a dormant seed, which requires stratification to break dormancy and germinate. Upon sprouting, the seedling will gradually develop into a young plant, establishing a root system and vegetative structures like leaves. As the azalea matures, it enters the vegetative growth phase, where it focuses on leaf and branch development, eventually forming a woody shrub. The plant reaches its reproductive phase in spring, producing clusters of distinctive purple-pink flowers that attract pollinators for sexual reproduction. After pollination and fertilization, the azalea develops seed pods, which mature and release seeds to complete the reproductive cycle. The azalea then enters a period of dormancy during cold months, conserving energy to restart the cycle in the following growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Rhododendron 'Elsie Lee', commonly referred to as the Azalea, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This popular method involves taking cuttings from new growth that has started to harden slightly, usually in late summer. Cuttings around 4 to 6 inches long with a few leaves removed from the lower half are ideal. The base of the cutting is then dipped in rooting hormone to stimulate root development and planted in a moistened mix of peat and perlite or sand. The cutting should be placed in indirect light and kept gently moist until roots develop, which can take several weeks to a few months. A plastic cover can be used to maintain humidity during this period, helping to improve rooting success.