Homebush Azalea Rhododendron 'Homebush' (K/d)

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


Rhododendron 'Homebush' is a flowering plant well-loved for its striking bloom clusters. Its appearance is dominated by large, spherical heads of small, tightly-packed, trumpet-shaped flowers that present a bold pink hue. Each individual flower contributes to the dense, almost ball-like inflorescence, which bursts forth in a stunning floral display. The leaves of Rhododendron 'Homebush' are equally attractive, offering a dark, glossy green contrast to the bright flowers. These leaves are oval in shape with a somewhat leathery texture and a pronounced vein structure, which adds to the plant's overall visual interest. The plant has a bushy appearance, with a lush and well-branched structure, providing a dense backdrop for the flowers which typically bloom in the spring. This creates a delightful contrast between the soft pink blossom spheres and the rich green foliage, making Rhododendron 'Homebush' a favored choice for gardeners seeking a splash of color in their plantings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Homebush Azalea, Knaphill Azalea

    • Common names

      Rhododendron 'Homebush'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Rhododendron, which includes the 'Homebush' variety, is toxic to humans. All parts of the plant contain substances known as grayanotoxins, which can cause poisoning if ingested. Symptoms of rhododendron poisoning can be quite severe and may include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, hypotension (low blood pressure), sinus tachycardia (increased heart rate), and, in severe cases, coma or death. The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of plant material ingested.

    • To pets

      Rhododendron, which includes the 'Homebush' variety, is also toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. Like in humans, the entire plant contains grayanotoxins, and ingestion of any part can result in poisoning. Symptoms of rhododendron poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite, colic, depression, weakness, lack of coordination, stupor, leg paralysis, and even coma. Severe cases can lead to cardiovascular collapse and death. The severity of illness depends on the amount of the plant consumed.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Spread

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Flowers: Rhododendron 'Homebush' produces striking pink to salmon-colored ball-shaped flower clusters that are visually appealing and add aesthetic value to gardens.
    • Landscape Versatility: This shrub can be used in various landscaping designs, including as a specimen plant, in mixed borders, or as part of a woodland garden.
    • Pollinator Friendly: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, supporting local ecosystems and biodiversity.
    • Durable: It's relatively hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, making it suitable for a variety of climates.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, making it a convenient choice for those who want a beautiful garden without extensive upkeep.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its spring blooms and evergreen foliage, it provides year-round interest and color in the garden.

  • 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

    • Dye Production: The flowers of Rhododendron 'Homebush' can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, with varying colors depending on the mordant used.
    • Culinary Garnish: While most parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, the flowers can sometimes be crystallized and used as an exotic, decorative garnish for desserts after ensuring they are free of toxic properties.
    • Photography Subject: Due to its vibrant blooms, it can be a popular photography subject for garden photographers and nature artists.
    • Honey Plant: While Rhododendron can produce toxic honey, in controlled conditions with toxin management, Rhododendron 'Homebush' can contribute to a unique varietal honey. Care must be taken due to the potential toxicity.
    • Fragrance Extraction: The scent of the flowers might be used in the crafting of perfumes or for aromatherapy purposes, following extensive processing to eliminate any harmful components.
    • Bioindicator: Sometimes plants like Rhododendron 'Homebush' can be used as biological indicators to monitor environmental conditions such as soil acidity.
    • Landscape Management: Its extensive root system can help with erosion control in certain landscapes.
    • Craft Material: Dried parts of the plant, such as branches, can be used in arts and crafts for creating wreaths or other decorative items.
    • Education and Research: It could be grown for educational purposes in botanical gardens to help teach about plant taxonomy and horticulture.
    • Traditional Ceremonies: Some cultures might use the flowers in traditional ceremonies or as offerings, although care must be taken due to the toxicity of most parts of the plant.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Azalea, which Rhododendron 'Homebush' belongs to, can be used in Feng Shui. In Feng Shui, azaleas are often associated with happiness and abundance and might be used to attract positive energy into a home. However, it's important to place them in an area that does not have stagnating energy to ensure a beneficial flow.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Azalea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Warning: Rhododendron 'Homebush' is known for its toxic nature, symbolizing caution and the need to beware of hidden dangers.
    • Beware of Aggression: Due to its toxic properties, the plant can also be a symbol of aggression or hostile intent.
    • Elegance and Wealth: Rhododendrons are often associated with elegance and wealth, due to their lush, full blossoms and rich history in aristocratic gardens.
    • Survival: 'Homebush' varieties, like many rhododendrons, thrive in challenging conditions, symbolizing the ability to overcome adversity and the will to survive.
    • Passion: The intense and vibrant colors of the Rhododendron 'Homebush' can represent the fierceness of passion and energy in one's endeavors.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Rhododendrons, including the 'Homebush' variety, require moist but well-drained soil, and they should be watered deeply. Typically, watering once a week during the growing season is sufficient, but this can vary depending on climate and soil conditions. Aim for about 1 inch of water per week, which equates to roughly 0.623 gallons per square foot. During periods of drought or extreme heat, you may need to water more frequently. In winter, reduce watering, but don't allow the roots to dry out completely.

  • sunLight

    The Rhododendron 'Homebush' thrives best in dappled shade. It should be planted in a spot where it is protected from harsh, direct afternoon sunlight, which can scorch the leaves. Morning sun with afternoon shade, or filtered light throughout the day, is ideal for this plant to flourish.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The 'Homebush' Rhododendron prefers moderate temperatures and can generally survive in temperatures as low as 0°F and as high as 80°F. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 50°F and 75°F for optimal growth. Avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold, which can damage the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Rhododendron 'Homebush' is mainly done to maintain shape and promote bushier growth. It is best to prune just after the flowering period has ended, so typically in late spring. Remove dead flowers and any dead or broken branches. Pruning once a year is usually enough for this plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Azaleas, including the 'Homebush' variety, thrive in well-drained, acidic soils with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A good soil mix for azaleas should consist of 50% peat moss, 30% pine bark, and 20% perlite or coarse sand to ensure proper drainage and aeration.

  • plantRepotting

    Azaleas like 'Homebush' should be repotted every 2 to 3 years, ideally in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Over time, the soil can become compacted, which may affect drainage and root health.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Azaleas, including 'Homebush', prefer moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50-60%. If the air is too dry, especially indoors, consider using a humidifier or placing the pot on a tray of moistened pebbles to increase moisture in the immediate vicinity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place 'Homebush' azaleas near bright indirect light and maintain humidity.

    • Outdoor

      For 'Homebush' azaleas, choose a semi-shaded spot and shelter from wind.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the Rhododendron 'Homebush' (also known as Azalea 'Homebush') begins with germination, where the seed, under favorable conditions of temperature and moisture, sprouts and develops into a seedling. The seedling stage is characterized by the growth of the first few leaves and the establishment of a root system. As the plant matures, it enters the vegetative stage, growing in size and producing more leaves and branches to form a bushy shrub. The Rhododendron 'Homebush' then enters the flowering stage, typically in spring, where it produces vibrant clustered blooms that are pink to salmon in color. After pollination, the flowers give way to seed pods, which eventually release seeds to begin the next generation. Finally, as a perennial, the Rhododendron 'Homebush' enters a period of dormancy in winter, with reduced growth until the warmer temperatures of spring signal the onset of the next growth cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Propogation: The Rhododendron 'Homebush', commonly referred to as the Homebush azalea, is a popular garden shrub known for its vibrant bloom clusters. The most common method of propagating this plant is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is usually done in the late summer, after the new growth has begun to mature and harden slightly. Select healthy, non-flowering shoots and cut a 4 to 6-inch (10 to 15 cm) length, snipping just below a node. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end into a rooting hormone before planting it in a mixture of peat and perlite or coarse sand. The cuttings should then be placed in a sheltered area with high humidity and indirect light. After several weeks to months, roots will develop, at which point the new plants can be transplanted into individual pots or directly into the garden.