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TREES & plants

Rhododendron P.J.M.

Rhododendrons are shrubs with showy flowers in spring, usually in shade of white, pink, purple and red.  Some types of rhododendrons that lose their leaves in winter are commonly called azaleas. Relatively few rhododendrons are fully hardy in the Chicago area or can cope well with its alkaline soils. The hybrid Rhododendron P.J.M.  does very well in cold climates and is one of the hardier rhododendrons for the Chicago region.  It is able to tolerate near neutral soils.

Botanical name: 
Rhododendron 'P.J.M.'
All Common Names: 
P.J.M.hybrid rhododendron
Family (English): 
Heath
Family (Botanic): 
Ericaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Foundation, 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Patio/sidewalk, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)
Light Exposure: 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late spring
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Pink
Shape or Form: 
  • Mounded
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
More Information: 

Size & Form

A hybrid evergreen rhododendron reaching 3 to 6 feet high and wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Best planted in spring.
Prefers a moist, acidic, organic-rich soil. Will tolerate a higher soil pH , but well-drained soil is a must.
Locate in part shade to full shade in a protected site out of winter winds.
Plants are shallow-rooted and benefits with a layer of organic mulch to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperature fluctuations.
Water in dry periods.
Pruning is rarely needed but faded flowers can be removed to improve appearance.
Avoid pruning after July when new buds are forming for next years flowers.

Disease, pests, and problems

Root rots and crown rots can occur in too wet a soil.
Black vine weevils

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Spring flowers attract butterflies including the giant swallowtail, pipevine swallowtail, and spicebush swallowtail.

Bark color and texture 

Light straw-colored brown

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Smooth, dark green, 1 to 2 1/2 inch, elliptical, leathery evergreen leaves turn a mahogany to wine-red in fall

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Lavender-pink flowers bloom in clusters of 4-9 flowers in late spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Plants set little or no seeds

Rhododendron 'P.J.M.' or Rhododendron P.J.M.