While they have a ubiquity that can make you take these spring flowering shrubs for granted, there are at least three reasons why you need to plant (or plant more) rhodies:
Astonishing spring flowers that come in a range of sumptuous colors and seem to appear from out of nowhere after a long, cold winter. Quite the pick-me-up in the window after witch hazel shrubs flowers but before the lilacs bloom.
Speaking of winter, they’re one of the few shrubs that stay reliably evergreen during the worst of the season. And, they’re elegant when paired with that other winter stalwart, conifers.
They grow best in the light shade including the north side of the house (not the easiest place for plants), and thrive in acid soils, even under high-canopied conifers.
Most are hardy in zones 5 – 8, though there are a few that can take more chill and others that can take a bit more heat. Many are compact in habit and fill the voids around foundations and in front of taller shade-lovers, but if you need height, some can get large. Choose carefully now to avoid unnecessary pruning for size later. Planted now they’ll bring on a bit of bloom, but next spring, get out of the way. They’ll be cloaked in festive color.
If you need recommendations for a certain spot, use the comments section below.