Spider Azalea Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium' (EA)

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


Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium,' commonly referred to as the Linear-leaf Rhododendron, is a unique plant with a distinctive foliage shape. The leaves of this Rhododendron are notably slender and elongated, resembling narrow straps or ribbons. These leaves hang elegantly from the branches, giving the shrub a delicate, fine-textured appearance that contrasts with the typically broader leaves of other Rhododendrons. When in bloom, the Linear-leaf Rhododendron displays an array of tubular flowers that bring an ethereal quality to the plant. The blossoms are typically of a soft color palate which can include shades ranging from pastel to more vivid hues. These flowers cluster at the tips of the branches, creating a vibrant display that is both eye-catching and graceful. The overall impression of the Linear-leaf Rhododendron is one of elegance and refined beauty, with its long, wispy leaves and attractive floral show. Its unique leaf shape makes it a stand-out addition to gardens, providing a different texture and form compared to other plants in the landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Spider Azalea, Linear-Leaf Rhododendron

    • Common names

      Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Linear-leaf Rhododendron is poisonous to humans. It contains grayanotoxins, which can cause poisoning if any part of the plant is ingested. Symptoms of Linear-leaf Rhododendron poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, loss of coordination, and cardiac problems. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to coma or death.

    • To pets

      The Linear-leaf Rhododendron is also toxic to pets. Similar to humans, the plant contains grayanotoxins which can lead to poisoning when ingested. Symptoms may include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, loss of coordination, and in severe cases, potentially lead to seizures, coma, or even death.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      3 feet (0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Rhododendrons are known for their vibrant flowers and attractive foliage, making them a popular choice for ornamental gardens.
    • Landscape Versatility: They can be used for various landscaping purposes, including foundation plantings, borders, and as specimen plants.
    • Ease of Cultivation: These plants are generally easy to care for once established, requiring minimal maintenance under the right conditions.
    • Longevity: With proper care, rhododendrons can be long-lived plants, offering years of beauty.
    • Sensory Interest: The blossoms offer a visual spectacle and can also attract pollinators, adding buzzing sounds and movement to the garden space.
    • Habitat Support: Many species provide food and shelter for wildlife, especially bees and butterflies that rely on the nectar-rich flowers.
    • Seasonal Interest: Rhododendrons bloom in the spring, providing a burst of color early in the garden season when most plants are not yet in bloom.
    • Tolerance of Shade: They can thrive in part-shade conditions, making them suitable for locations that don't receive full sun throughout the day.

  • 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

    • The narrow-leaved rhododendron can be trained into bonsai forms, offering a unique aesthetic for enthusiasts of the miniature tree art form.
    • Its dense and unusual leaf shape makes it an excellent plant for creating textured contrasts in garden design, emphasizing the form of other plants with broader leaves.
    • The wood of the narrow-leaved rhododendron is sometimes used in small-scale woodworking projects due to its fine grain.
    • The plant can act as a natural thermometer since some rhododendrons' leaves droop or curl in response to cold temperatures.
    • Narrow-leaved rhododendrons can be used in 'rain gardens', which are designed to absorb excess rainwater and reduce runoff.
    • Dried and pressed, the delicate foliage of this rhododendron makes an interesting addition to herbarium collections and plant pressings.
    • The flowers can serve as a natural dye for fabrics, providing a range of colors from soft pinks to vibrant purples depending on the pH level of the dye bath.
    • As a companion plant, it can be strategically placed to provide shelter and slightly acidic soil conditions that are preferable for other acid-loving plants.
    • In photography and painting, the narrow-leaved rhododendron's distinctive foliage and structure provide a visually intriguing subject with its linear leaves and flowers.
    • The plant may be included as part of wildlife gardens designed to attract and support pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Linear-leaf Rhododendron is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Linear-leaf Rhododendron is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Caution: Rhododendrons, including Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium', are often associated with caution due to their toxic properties if ingested.
    • Elegance: The delicate, narrow leaves and elegant form of this particular cultivated variety can symbolize refined beauty.
    • Beware: Similar to the symbolism of caution, the plant can serve as a reminder to be wary, again highlighting the potential toxicity of the plant.
    • Survival: Rhododendrons are hardy plants capable of surviving in challenging environments, which can symbolize the ability to endure and adapt.
    • Temptation: With their attractive flowers, they can symbolize the allure of something that is enticing but potentially dangerous, reflecting the plant’s poisonous nature.

Every 7-10 days
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Spider Azalea should be watered thoroughly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Deep watering promotes healthy root growth, so applying about 1 gallon per plant once a week during the growing season is recommended. However, frequency should be adjusted during hot, dry periods to every 3-4 days and reduced to every 2 weeks in the winter or during cool, wet periods. Avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk of leaf and flower diseases; instead, water directly at the base of the plant.

  • sunLight

    Spider Azaleas flourish in partial shade to filtered sunlight. The ideal spot is one where they receive morning sunlight and are protected from the intense heat of the afternoon sun. They can tolerate full sun in cooler climates but need protection in areas with strong, hot sunlight to avoid leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spider Azaleas are hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures but perform best when the weather is consistently between 50°F and 70°F. They can withstand minimum temperatures down to around 20°F; however, prolonged exposure below freezing can damage the plant. During hot summer days above 80°F, the azaleas should be provided with shade and adequate watering to prevent stress.

  • scissorsPruning

    Spider Azaleas benefit from pruning to shape the plant, encourage bushiness, and remove dead or diseased wood. Prune immediately after flowering since azaleas set next year's flower buds in the summer. Pruning too late in the season can remove these buds, reducing the bloom display.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Linear-Leaved Rhododendron requires well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 to 6.0. A suitable soil mix can be created with 50% peat moss, 30% pine bark, and 20% perlite to ensure proper drainage and aeration.

  • plantRepotting

    The Linear-Leaved Rhododendron should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to replenish its soil and accommodate root growth. Ensure to repot during the late winter or early spring just before new growth begins.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Linear-Leaved Rhododendron thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50% to 60%. If grown indoors, using a humidifier or pebble tray can help maintain these conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use acidic soil, cool temperatures, and bright indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, moist acidic soil, and protect from winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium', commonly known as the Linear-leaf Rhododendron, begins its life cycle when the seeds germinate, usually requiring a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. The seedling stage is characterized by the emergence of a primary root and a shoot, which grows into a young plant with characteristic narrow, linear leaves. As it matures, the rhododendron enters a vegetative growth phase, establishing a robust root system and producing more foliage. The plant then reaches the flowering stage, typically in late spring, revealing funnel-shaped flowers that attract pollinators. After pollination, the flowers develop into seed capsules that, once matured, release seeds to start the next generation. The plant will enter a period of dormancy during the colder months, reducing metabolic activities until favorable growing conditions return.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium', commonly known as the Narrow-Leaf Japanese Rhododendron, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. The prime time to take these cuttings is from late summer to early autumn, when the new growth has begun to mature but is not yet fully hardened. To successfully propagate, one would cut a 4 to 6 inch (approximately 10 to 15 cm) length of stem, ensuring that it contains at least two or three sets of leaves. The bottom set of leaves are removed, and the cut end of the stem is dipped in rooting hormone to enhance root development. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a well-draining potting mix or a mixture of peat and perlite and kept under high humidity with indirect light. It's crucial to maintain the moisture of the substrate without making it soggy, as excessive water can cause the cutting to rot. Rooting typically occurs within several weeks, after which the new rhododendron can be gradually acclimated to less humid conditions before eventual planting out.