Teddy Bear Rhododendron Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear'

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


The Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' is a visually striking plant characterized by its lush, evergreen foliage and impressive blooms. The leaves of this rhododendron are thick, dark green, and have a glossy finish, giving them a luxurious appearance that is very pleasing to the eye. These leaves are quite substantial in size, creating a dense canopy of greenery. The most captivating feature of the Teddi Bear rhododendron is undoubtedly its flowers. These blossoms emerge in generous clusters, known as trusses, which can cover the plant in a profusion of color when in full bloom. Each individual flower is bell-shaped, with a delicate structure that adds a touch of elegance to the plant. The color of the blooms is a vibrant shade, which contrasts nicely against the dark foliage, making the flowers stand out remarkably well. Overall, the Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' has a compact and rounded form, which presents a neat and tidy appearance in the landscape. This attractive nature, combined with its showy flowers and glossy leaves, makes it a popular choice for garden enthusiasts looking to add a touch of charm and vivid color to their surroundings.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Teddy Bear Rhododendron, Teddy Bear Azalea

    • Common names

      Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Rhododendron, including the 'Teddy Bear' variety, contains highly toxic substances known as grayanotoxins. These compounds can be dangerous to humans if ingested. Symptoms of rhododendron poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, hypotension (low blood pressure), cardiovascular collapse, and in severe cases, coma or death. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if ingestion is suspected.

    • To pets

      Rhododendron is also toxic to pets, such as dogs and cats. The toxic principles, grayanotoxins, affect animals similarly to humans. Symptoms in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, staggering, potential heart complications, and in severe cases, can lead to coma or death. Immediate veterinary care is necessary if a pet ingests any part of a rhododendron plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      5 feet (1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      5 feet (1.5 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' adds visual interest to gardens with its lush foliage and vibrant flowers.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The blossoms provide a nectar source for bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Evergreen Foliage: This rhododendron maintains its leaves year-round, offering continuous greenery.
    • Compact Growth: It is suitable for small gardens or spaces where a smaller-sized plant is desired.
    • Shade Tolerance: It can grow in partially shaded areas, making it versatile for different garden locations.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it can cope with periods of low water availability.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal pruning and care, making it ideal for busy gardeners.

  • 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

    • Photography subject: The Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' with its large, lush flowers can be a captivating subject for photographers, particularly for those interested in nature and plant photography.
    • Informal hedge: These plants can be used to create a dense, flowering hedge in the garden, providing both privacy and a stunning visual display during their blooming season.
    • Backdrop for other plants: The deep green foliage of Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' serves as an excellent contrast backdrop for highlighting the colors of other flowering plants in a garden composition.
    • Educational tool: Botany and horticulture students can study the Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' as a way to learn about plant development, bloom sequences, and hybridization practices.
    • Cultural significance: In some cultures or contexts, the Rhododendron may be used as a symbol in artistic or literary works to convey specific meanings, such as beauty or resilience.
    • Acid soil indicator: Because Rhododendrons prefer acidic soil, the successful growth of 'Teddy Bear' can indicate the pH level of the soil, which may be beneficial for gardeners.
    • Model organism: Horticulturalists may use the 'Teddy Bear' variety in crossbreeding experiments to create new hybrids with desirable characteristics.
    • Theme gardens: Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' can be an essential plant in a themed garden, such as a teddy bear garden designed for children, due to its friendly name and beautiful appearance.
    • Bonsai: Some enthusiasts may use Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' for bonsai due to its attractive flowers and the possibility of cultivating it in miniature form.
    • Seasonal celebrations: The Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' can be used in floral arrangements or displayed during certain festivities or seasons when its blossoms are at peak beauty.

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 are often associated with caution or danger due to the fact that many species are poisonous if ingested.
    • Warning: The plant can symbolize a warning to pay attention to upcoming obstacles or to be wary of a situation.
    • Elegance: With their lush, vibrant blooms, rhododendrons can represent elegance and wealth.
    • Abundance: The full, round shape of the 'Teddy Bear' blooms can imply an abundance of beauty or resources.
    • Survival: Rhododendrons are known for their hardiness and ability to survive in challenging climates, symbolizing endurance and strength.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Rhododendrons, including the 'Teddy Bear' variety, require consistent moisture but also well-draining soil to prevent root rot. It’s best to water the 'Teddy Bear' Rhododendron deeply every week during the growing season, providing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water which translates to approximately 2 gallons per plant. During hot or dry periods, increase the frequency to 2-3 times per week, always checking the soil moisture before watering. In winter or cooler months, reduce watering since the plant's water requirements decrease. Avoid overhead watering to prevent disease; instead, apply water directly to the base of the plant.

  • sunLight

    The 'Teddy Bear' Rhododendron thrives best in partial shade conditions, with filtered sunlight being ideal. Position the plant in a location where it can be protected from the harsh afternoon sun, which can burn the leaves and compromise its health. Morning light with afternoon shade or dappled sunlight throughout the day provides the optimal lighting environment for the 'Teddy Bear' Rhododendron.

  • thermometerTemperature

    'Teddy Bear' Rhododendrons are hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures, but they flourish in areas where the temperature does not fall below 0°F or rise above 90°F. The ideal temperature range for promoting the best growth and flowering conditions is between 50°F and 70°F. Avoid positioning the 'Teddy Bear' Rhododendron in places where it might be exposed to strong winds or late frosts.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the 'Teddy Bear' Rhododendron is necessary to maintain its shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and encourage bushier growth. It should be pruned just after the flowers fade in late spring or early summer. Cut back the spent flower clusters and any weak branches to redirect energy to the healthy parts of the plant. Pruning every year is generally not required, so evaluate the plant's shape and health each year to decide if pruning is necessary.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Rhododendrons, including 'Teddy Bear', require well-draining, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5-6.0. A mix of 50% pine bark, 30% perlite, and 20% peat moss can provide the appropriate drainage and acidity.

  • plantRepotting

    'Teddy Bear' rhododendrons should be repotted every 2 to 3 years, or when they outgrow their current container, to ensure they continue to have room for growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    'Teddy Bear' rhododendrons prefer moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 40-60%, to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

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

    • Outdoor

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

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear' begins its life cycle as a seed, which, when sown in well-drained, acidic soil and kept moist, will germinate and sprout into a seedling. The seedling grows into a juvenile plant, forming a small, dense shrub with evergreen foliage that is soft and plush, much like a teddy bear's fur. During its vegetative stage, the plant develops a strong root system and branching structure, with the leaves matured into a dark green color. Once mature, the Teddy Bear Rhododendron produces clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers in various shades of pink, red, and white, typically blooming in late spring to early summer. After pollination, the flowers give way to seed pods that will release seeds when mature, completing the reproductive cycle. This plant can live for several decades, with proper care involving mulching, occasional feeding, and protection from extreme temperatures and winds.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Rhododendron 'Teddy Bear', commonly known just as Rhododendron, can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings typically in the late summer. The most popular method involves selecting healthy, non-flowering shoots from the current year's growth. These should be taken in the morning when the plant is fully hydrated. Cuttings of about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) are made just below a set of leaves, and the lower leaves are removed. The cut end is then dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth and inserted into a pot filled with a mixture of peat and perlite or a similar rooting medium. The pot should be kept in a brightly lit area out of direct sunlight, and the medium should be kept consistently moist but not soggy. Roots typically develop within a few months, after which the new Rhododendron plants can be gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions and eventually transplanted into the garden.