Rosebay Rhododendron (Great Laurel)


Rhododendron maximum

Minimum: 100+ seeds

Elevate your garden landscape with the timeless elegance of Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), also known as Great Laurel. Renowned for its majestic stature, abundant blooms, and lush evergreen foliage, this native North American shrub captivates the eye and ignites the imagination with its unparalleled beauty and charm. Whether gracing woodland gardens, borders, or naturalized landscapes, Rosebay Rhododendron adds a touch of splendor and grace to any outdoor sanctuary. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of Rhododendron maximum and transform your garden into a haven of botanical wonder!

Key Features:

  1. Majestic Stature: Stand in awe of Rosebay Rhododendron's majestic stature. This large, upright shrub can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet, creating a commanding presence in the landscape and serving as a striking focal point in any garden setting.

  2. Abundant Blooms: Marvel at the profusion of blooms that adorn Rosebay Rhododendron in late spring to early summer. Clusters of large, showy flowers in shades of pink, lavender, or white blanket the branches, attracting pollinators and infusing the garden with vibrant color and fragrance.

  3. Lush Evergreen Foliage: Delight in the year-round beauty of Rosebay Rhododendron's glossy, dark green foliage. Its dense, leathery leaves provide a lush backdrop for the spectacular blooms, while retaining their vibrant color and texture throughout the seasons.

  4. Adaptable Nature: Appreciate the adaptability of Rosebay Rhododendron to a variety of growing conditions. From moist, acidic woodlands to sunny, well-drained borders, this versatile shrub thrives in a range of environments, making it suitable for gardens across North America.

  5. Wildlife Attraction: Welcome a diverse array of wildlife to your garden with Rosebay Rhododendron. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds flock to the nectar-rich flowers, while songbirds seek shelter and nesting sites among the dense foliage, fostering biodiversity and ecological balance.


  • Botanical Name: Rhododendron maximum
  • Common Names: Rosebay Rhododendron, Great Laurel
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub
  • Height: 10-20 feet
  • Spread: 6-12 feet
  • Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Summer
  • Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Care Guidelines:

  1. Light: Plant Rosebay Rhododendron in partial shade to full shade, away from harsh afternoon sun and hot, dry winds. Provide dappled sunlight or filtered shade for optimal growth and flowering.

  2. Soil: Choose well-drained, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5-6.0. Incorporate organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or pine bark into the planting area to improve soil structure and moisture retention.

  3. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during the first year after planting. Water deeply and regularly, ensuring adequate moisture during dry periods to prevent drought stress.

  4. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or pine needles, around the base of Rosebay Rhododendron to conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and insulate the roots against temperature fluctuations.

  5. Pruning: Prune Rosebay Rhododendron selectively to remove dead, damaged, or overgrown branches in late winter or early spring. Avoid heavy pruning, as this can reduce flowering and disrupt the natural form of the shrub.

Design Tips:

  • Woodland Gardens: Incorporate Rosebay Rhododendron into woodland gardens, shade gardens, or naturalized landscapes, where its lush foliage and colorful blooms can thrive in the dappled sunlight beneath mature trees.

  • Shady Borders: Use Rosebay Rhododendron as a focal point or anchor plant in shady borders, mixed shrub borders, or foundation plantings, where its striking beauty can be appreciated up close.

  • Understory Planting: Pair Rosebay Rhododendron with other shade-loving plants, such as ferns, hostas, astilbes, and hydrangeas, for a layered and textured garden design that thrives in low-light conditions.

  • Mass Plantings: Create a dramatic impact with mass plantings of Rosebay Rhododendron along woodland edges, stream banks, or natural slopes, where its abundant blooms and lush foliage can blanket the landscape in color.

  • Container Gardening: Showcase the beauty of Rosebay Rhododendron in large containers or planters on patios, decks, or balconies, where its graceful form and vibrant blooms can be enjoyed up close.

Embrace the timeless beauty and natural splendor of Rosebay Rhododendron in your garden sanctuary.