Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 09:19 am

Rhododendron is an elegant, vivacious, evergreen flower grown in many parts of the world. It is used both as an ornamental flower and also for gifting purposes.

Rhododendron is a very large genus of about 1000 species of small trees and woody plants of the healthy family of Ericaceae. The rhododendron genus is one of the largest genera in the plant world. The vibrant bell-shaped flowers form shrubs that are entirely formed of flowers. They grow up to 14m ( 16 ft). 

They are mainly found in Europe, Asia, Northern Australia, and North America. Rhododendron was discovered in the 16th century by a Flemish botanist Charles L’Ecluse. These flowers belong to the daisy family and bloom from April to September.

Rhododendron was named the Alpine rose by the British as they first spotted this flower in the European Alps in the 17th century.

In 1736, botanist John Bartram and the Quaker Peter Collinson brought Rhododendron nudiflorum, viscosum, maximum, and canescens to England.

The etymological meaning of the rhododendron flower is that the genus name is derived from Ancient Greek words. Rhodon, which means Rose, and Dendro, which means tree, translates to “Rose tree.” It can also be interpreted as steadfast, solid, and firm.

What Does The Rhododendron Flower Symbolize?

Rhododendron is native to sunny places, and therefore, it symbolizes light and warmth. 

A rhododendron plant has much positive symbolism associated with it. It connotes energy, good vibes, positivism, cheer, goodwill, appreciation, serenity, confession of love, and friendship. 

The general meaning of the rhododendron flower is a beautiful and heartfelt compliment, “you make everything much more beautiful and nicer.” No wonder, with such a loving symbolism attached to this flower, this flower is popularly given as a gift.

All in all, the rhododendron flower symbolic meanings are:

  • beauty
  • energy
  • beware
  • danger
  • elegance
  • wealth
  • love
  • good luck
  • passion
  • abundance

Meaning Of The Rhododendron Flower Colors

Red color

The red color is widely associated with the feeling of love and passion. Like most red flowers, the red rhododendron is also strongly affiliated with the emotions of love, sensuality, and intense passion. 

A red rhododendron is commonly gifted between lovers to express and convey their feelings and fondness towards each other. When you give a red rhododendron, you send a personal message to your dear ones. 

However, you can even give a red rhododendron to a friend you dearly love without necessarily professing your love.

Orange color

An orange rhododendron is a symbol of strength, vitality, and liveliness. If you wish to give someone strength and encourage someone positively, then an orange rhododendron is an ideal flower to be gifted. 

Orange is a bright and positive color. Hence, when an orange rhododendron is gifted, it connotes a lot of positivity and uplifts the receiver’s mood.

Yellow color

It’s a common belief that yellow is generally associated with a funeral. So, for many people, a yellow rhododendron is considered the appropriate flower to be given during a funeral service. It is used in funeral floristry. But this does not mean that the flower has any negative connotation; it has positive notes associated with it. 

The yellow rhododendron symbolizes showing love, respect, and remembrance toward the deceased. It symbolizes the happy moments spent with the deceased and is not a flower for mourning.

Pink color

The color pink is a very warm and soothing color. Pink rhododendron is used on occasions ranging from weddings to a funeral. 

In a wedding celebration, pink rhododendron flowers are used as ornamental flowers for decorations and wedding arrangements. These flowers stand for wealth, luxury, success, and material pleasures. They are a symbol of wishing good luck and a bright future to the happy couple. 

Pink rhododendron is also given during a funeral service as it invokes a feeling of calmness and warmth.

White color

Like the pink rhododendron, the white rhododendron is used for wedding decorations. The white color stands for peace, purity, innocence, faith, and civility. If you have a wedding reception, choosing white rhododendron is perfect. They not only look beautiful, but they are the right flowers for this solemn occasion.

You can even combine different colors of the rhododendron flowers to create a bouquet. These lovely flower decorations will send a loving and touching message to all your guests.

Purple color

The color purple stands for dignity and pride and is a color associated with nobility. When you give a purple rhododendron, it signifies elegance, and this color flower can be gifted on any special occasion. 

It will surely enhance the value of the gift if you give someone a beautiful bouquet of purple rhododendron flowers.

Interesting Facts About The Rhododendron Flowers

  • Rhododendron is the state flower of West Virginia and Washington in the United States. 
  • It is the provincial flower of the province of Jiangxi in China. 
  • It is the state tree of the popular states of Uttarakhand and Sikkim in India.
  • It is also Nepal’s national flower. In Nepal, this flower is known by the name of Guran.
  • The world’s tallest rhododendron is 32 meters (108 ft) tall. It is located at Mount Japfu near Kohima, Nagaland, India.
  • The leaves or flowers of this plant should not be consumed as it leads to several ailments. Like, abdominal pain, stomach irritation, and abnormal heart rate. However, in some Asian countries, this plant is considered to be edible.
  • Extracts from some species of rhododendron flower are used to make essential oils.

How To Grow Rhododendron Flowers

Growing and maintenance of flowering rhododendron shrubs are not complicated at all. 

  1. Plant the rhododendron in humus acidic and well-drained soils.
  2. Choose a spot where the plant can get six hours of sun daily.
  3. Make sure that the soil is kept dry completely. 
  4. Add some fertilizers and manures to enrich the quality of the soil.
  5. Enrich the soil. Compostable organic material such as composted cow dung, chopped leaves, or compost from your compost bin can be added.

How To Care For Rhododendron Flowers

  1. Mulch rhododendron plants in the spring.
  2. Apply fertilizer sparingly in the early spring.
  3. Deadhead after they bloom to promote leaf and branch growth.
  4. Prune them immediately after they flower if you need to trim them to reduce their size.
  5. Remove dead or diseased stalks at any time of the year.

Best Time To Gift Rhododendron Flowers

The rhododendron flower is quite versatile. Regarding elegance, purity, and love, the rhododendron flower is a perfect choice for gifting. It’s a flower that is known to uplift moods. It has positive connotations and symbolism associated with it and hence can be given to just anyone. 

You can give your lover, grandmother, or dear friend a bouquet of rhododendron flowers. Because of its versatility and positive symbolism, a rhododendron flower can be gifted on several occasions. The occasions are endless, from birthdays to wedding anniversaries to celebrating success and housewarming. You can choose the color of the rhododendron flower to convey your feelings and thoughts.


Whether you give a rhododendron flower bouquet or grow it in your garden, the flowers will bring in a lot of optimism and love. It radiates positive energy; thus, this flower is so popular in many countries.

As you can see, the rhododendron flower has positive meanings and interesting symbolism, so go ahead and gift these beautiful flowers to your loved ones. It will surely uplift not only your mood but the spirit of your beloved as well.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!