The Rhododendron family includes azaleas, but the term "rhododendron" is used for the large, evergreen types with leathery leaves. Rhododendrons prefer a mild, humid climate, though some varieties are cold-hardy. They prefer filtered sunlight, acid soil in the range of 5.0 to 5.5, enrichment with organic matter and excellent drainage in order to thrive and produce many beautiful blooms. They vary widely in colour, and many red rhododendrons are available for vivid colour in summer gardens.
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The America variety of rhododendron bears red flowers in late midseason. It produces best in full sun and is hardy to ---6.67 degrees Celsius. This variety opens in a funnel shape, in a deep, purplish-red cast with dark red spotting. The leaves are a dull, matt green.
Cornubia is a striking bright red-variety of rhododendron that is hardy down to -17.8 degrees Celsius. It flowers from March through April with bright blooms and large-leafed foliage. Cornubia has an upright, shrub-type growth habit. Variegated types are also available.
The Damozel variety has long, dark foliage and an upright growth habit. The plant bears bright-red flowers with dark spots in May. It is a full-hardy plant that can withstand temperatures down to 0-17.778 degrees Celsius. It prefers neutral to acidic soil.
Currant-red flowers that bloom in early midseason are a feature of this variety of rhododendron, which has a blood-red centre. Flowers are 3 inches across with thick, dark-green leaves. This variety is hardy to --0-15 degrees Celsius.
Johnny Bender bears heavy-textured, blood-red flowers on glossy foliage that makes an attractive plant at any time of year. Johnny Bender blooms at midseason and is hardy to --0-15 degrees Celsius.
The Leann variety has 4-inch flowers that are a medium-red with maroon spots and bloom early in the season. The leaves are long and yellowish-green. The plant has a rounded growth habit and is hardy to 0-12.222 degrees Celsius. This variety only grows up to 3 feet high.
Taurus rhododendron has deep-green pointed leaves and bountiful flowers from late September to early October. The bright-red blossoms have a darker throat and dark spots on dorsal petals. Taurus blooms in the early portion of the midseason. It prefers afternoon sun protection and is hardy to --0-15 degrees Celsius.
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