Tall rhododendron for Toronto Garden



I am looking forward to planting my first rhododendron.

I am looking for one that will be an accent plant in the backyard. Height is an important consideration -mature height of 8-10 feet. Flowers colors- pink or purple. Low maintenance, hardy and disease resistant.

Is there any variety that you can advise? Most of the ones I see in garden centers max out at 5-6 feet only.

Thank you,


A few taller rhododendrons come to mind, although I don’t know if these are available from local nurseries. You specify a plant that will grow to 2.4-3 metres (8-10 feet) tall.   Remember that there is no guarantee that the maximum height mentioned on the plant label or in information on the internet will be the actual height attained by a plant in your garden.  Here are some rhododendrons of interest:

  • Rhododendron ‘Whidbey Island’ has purple blooms and grows to around 2 metres (7 feet) after 10 years or so. See American Rhododendron Society. Plant search. Rhododendron ‘Whidbey Island’ 
  • Rhododendron ‘Caractacus’ has flowers that are predominantly red, but may appear a deep pink/crimson and grows to around 2 metres (7 feet) after 10 years or so. See American Rhododendron Society. Plant search Rhododendron ‘Caractacus’
  • Rhododendron catawbiense, with flowers ranging from lilac to rose grow to 6-10 feet tall (some cultivars have been known to reach heights of 15 or 20 feet, very rarely). See Missouri Botanical Garden. Rhododendron catawbiense 

Although rhododendrons may be susceptible to insect and disease issues, if grown in the proper environment, the plants should have few problems.  It is important to consider sun/shade exposure, type of soil, wind exposure and other factors in ensuring the plant will thrive in the intended spot in your garden.

Someone at your local nursery may know of “tall” rhododendrons available for sale in your area.  For additional resources, consider reviewing the list of retail garden centres at Landscape Ontario.  You could contact a few centres to see if anyone knows of nurseries that might specialize in rhododendrons.

It may be helpful to contact the following groups for practical information and suggestions:

All the best in finding the ideal plant for your garden!

April 24 2022