Rosebay Rhododendron Rhododendron arboreum

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


The plant commonly referred to as the tree rhododendron, is known for its striking beauty and vivid colors. It boasts a dense canopy with dark green, glossy leaves that are leathery in texture. These leaves can often have a somewhat elliptical shape, tapering at the end. The underside of the leaf tends to be lighter than the top, adding to the visual interest of the foliage. One of the most captivating features of this plant is its flowers. It produces clusters of bell-shaped flowers that range in color from deep pink to bright red, which creates a visually appealing contrast against the dark green leaves. Each individual flower exhibits a slightly ruffled appearance, adding a touch of elegance to the overall look of the plant. These blossoms are not only beautiful to look at but also attract a variety of pollinators, adding dynamism to the garden. The bark of the tree rhododendron has a smooth texture and peels off in thin layers. Its color can be described as a reddish-brown, which further accentuates the lush greenery of the leaves. Overall, the aesthetic appeal of the tree rhododendron makes it a favorite among garden enthusiasts and landscapers alike, bringing a burst of color and lushness to the spaces it occupies.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Burans, Rhododendron, Gurans, Laligurans.

    • Common names

      Rhododendron windsorii, Rhododendron nilagiricum, Rhododendron arboretum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Rhododendron arboreum, commonly known as the tree rhododendron, contains toxins that are harmful to humans. Ingesting any part of the tree rhododendron can result in poisoning. Symptoms of toxicity can include gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and can progress to cardiovascular effects like abnormal heart rhythms and a decrease in blood pressure. Neurological symptoms may occur, such as dizziness, weakness, and possible seizures. In severe cases, ingestion can be fatal.

    • To pets

      Tree rhododendron is also toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. If a pet ingests any part of a tree rhododendron, they may exhibit symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. More severe symptoms can include tremors, seizures, abnormal cardiac rhythms, and potentially, coma. The toxicity can be life-threatening, so it is advised to seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect your pet has ingested this plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      20-30 feet (6-9 meters)

    • Spread

      10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Rhododendron arboreum, commonly known as the buransh or rhododendron, is widely appreciated for its spectacular spring blossoms, which add aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The plant provides a natural habitat and food source for various species of birds, butterflies, and insects, thereby supporting biodiversity.
    • Erosion Control: The extensive root system of rhododendron helps in stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, especially in hilly terrains where they are commonly found.
    • Shade Provider: With its thick foliage, the rhododendron arboreum can offer a cool shade in warm climates, making it suitable for planting in parks and large gardens.
    • Cultural Significance: In certain regions, the rhododendron is of cultural importance and used in festivals, ceremonies, and traditional practices.
    • Honey Production: Flowers of the rhododendron arboreum are a source of nectar for bees, which can lead to the production of honey with distinctive flavors.
    • Climate Resilience: Being native to the Himalayas, the plant is adapted to a range of climates and can provide foliage throughout the year in varying weather conditions.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antidiabetic: Rhododendron arboreum has been traditionally used to manage blood sugar levels.
    • Analgesic: The plant extracts are believed to have pain-relieving properties.
    • Anti-inflammatory: It is used to reduce inflammation in traditional medicine practices.
    • Antibacterial: Some studies have suggested that Rhododendron arboreum has antibacterial effects.
    • Antioxidant: The plant contains antioxidants, which are believed to combat oxidative stress.
    • Antidiarrheal: Traditionally used for its potential to relieve diarrhea.
    • Cardioprotective: There are claims of its use in protecting the heart, potentially due to its antioxidant content.
    • Antitussive: It has been used to treat coughs in traditional medicine systems.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Traditional Roofing: In some Himalayan regions, leaves of the Rhododendron arboreum are used to construct waterproof roofs for temporary shelters.
    • Beekeeping: This species is valued for beekeeping since it provides a rich source of nectar, leading to high-quality honey production.
    • Religious Ceremonies: In certain cultures, the flowers of Rhododendron arboreum are used in religious rituals and adornments for deities.
    • Cultural Symbol: The Rhododendron arboreum serves as the national flower of Nepal, symbolizing purity and is used extensively in local art and culture.
    • Tannin Source: The bark of Rhododendron arboreum contains tannins that can be utilized for tanning leather.
    • Ink Making: The flower petals can be used to make natural dyes for traditional ink, which is then used for various artistic purposes.
    • Natural Fencing: The thick growth habit of Rhododendron arboreum makes it suitable for creating live fences and privacy screens.
    • Handicrafts: The wood, being moderately hard and easy to carve, is occasionally used for making small handicrafts and souvenirs.
    • Aromatic Oil: Leaves of the Rhododendron arboreum can be distilled to produce aromatic oil used in perfumery.
    • Traditional Tool Handles: Wood from the Rhododendron arboreum is used to craft handles for a variety of traditional tools due to its durability.

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

    • Warning - Certain species of rhododendron contain toxins which can be harmful if ingested, leading them to be symbols of caution or warning.
    • Beware - Similar to warning, the toxic nature of some rhododendrons serves as a symbol for vigilance and to be wary.
    • Agility - The rhododendron is able to grow in rocky, challenging environments suggesting the idea of overcoming obstacles and flourishing in difficult conditions.
    • Elegance - With its beautiful, showy flowers, the rhododendron represents elegance and wealth.
    • Abundance - It blooms in masses and is quite lush, which can symbolize abundance or thriving in life.
    • Temperance - As a plant that thrives in moderate climates and represents moderation and balance in life.

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

    The Rosebay Rhododendron should be watered sufficiently to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, typically equivalent to about 1 inch of rainfall per week. During hot or dry periods, water the plant thoroughly, aiming for the base of the plant to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases. If rainfall is scarce, providing additional water using a hose or watering can may be necessary, totaling up to 1 gallon per week for smaller shrubs and more for larger ones. Reduce watering in the dormant season and increase it during the growth periods, typically in spring and early summer. Overhead watering should be avoided to prevent disease.

  • sunLight

    The Rosebay Rhododendron thrives in partial shade to full sun conditions, with dappled sunlight being ideal. Avoid direct afternoon sun which can scorch the leaves, especially in hotter climates. The best spot for this plant would be a location that receives morning sunlight and is shaded in the hotter part of the day or beneath the canopy of light deciduous trees.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature for Rosebay Rhododendron ranges from 50°F to 60°F. It can endure minimum temperatures as low as 0°F and maximum temperatures around 80°F to 85°F but will require protection from harsh conditions like strong winds and extreme heat or cold. Providing mulch can help regulate soil temperature and protect the roots.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning of the Rosebay Rhododendron should be done to maintain shape, size, and to remove any dead or diseased branches. The best time to prune is shortly after the blooming period has ended, as this plant sets next year's flower buds soon after the current season's blooms fade. It is typically necessary once per year, and any extensive pruning can be done every few years to rejuvenate older plants.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Rhododendron arboreum, commonly known as the Rhododendron, prefers well-draining, organically rich soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. A recommended soil mix includes equal parts peat, pine bark, and perlite to ensure proper drainage and aeration. Regular amendments with compost can enhance soil fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    The Rhododendron typically requires repotting every 2-3 years or when it becomes root-bound. It's best to repot in late winter or early spring before the onset of the growing season, taking care not to disturb the roots excessively.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Rhododendron thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, generally above 50%. Providing a humid environment, such as grouping it with other plants or using a humidity tray, can help meet the Rhododendron's needs.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and high humidity for indoor Rhododendrons.

    • Outdoor

      Place Rhododendrons in dappled sunlight and shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron arboreum, commonly known as buransh or tree rhododendron, begins its life as a seed that germinates in a suitable environment, typically in acidic soil with good moisture. The seedling emerges and grows, developing roots and leaves in its juvenile stage, which can last for several years as it slowly matures. As it becomes an adult plant, it develops a woody stem and branches, growing into a tree that can reach up to 20 meters in height. The adult tree rhododendron then produces clusters of bright red, pink, or white flowers, usually from late winter to early spring, depending on the altitude and location. After pollination by insects, the flowers develop into dry, capsule-like fruits that release numerous small seeds when they mature. These seeds are then dispersed by wind and, if they land in favorable conditions, the cycle begins anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Rhododendron arboreum, commonly known as the tree rhododendron, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This is typically done during the latter part of the growing season, from late summer to early fall. Cuttings should be taken from the current year's growth and be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) in length. The lower leaves are removed, and the base of the cutting is treated with a rooting hormone to encourage root development. These prepared cuttings are then inserted into a potting mixture of peat and perlite or a similar medium, ensuring the cut end is well covered. The potting containers should be kept in a humid environment with indirect light until the cuttings have rooted, which usually takes several weeks. A plastic cover or a propagation chamber can help maintain the necessary humidity levels.