Variegated Pontic Rhododendron

Rhododendron ponticum 'Variegatum'

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Variegated Pontic Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum 'Variegatum') at Weston Nurseries

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron flowers

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum 'Variegatum') at Weston Nurseries

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron foliage

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b


A mid-season variety with lovely trusses of violet-purple blooms and stunning variegated foliage; a very showy accent plant with year round interest; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting

Ornamental Features

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron is covered in stunning clusters of violet trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches in mid spring, which emerge from distinctive purple flower buds. It has white-variegated dark green foliage. The narrow leaves remain dark green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Variegated Pontic Rhododendron will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features