Some flowers excel with particular colors. Jacaranda is best in blue. White looks plain or boring. California poppy is best in natural orange. Pale white, pale purple, pink and any other modern color seems weird for them. Poinsettia should be red, or perhaps white or pink, but not ‘peach’, ‘plum’ (whatever color that is) or yellow! Although I had never met a rhododendron that I did not like, I do find that the best are either purple or red. Pinks are very appealing too, but not quite as ideal as the others. White rhododendrons can be rather bland. These six rhododendrons bloomed prior to last Saturday. Since I intend to limit the redundancy of pictures of rhododendrons this season, they will be the last.

1. White is my favorite color. White rhododendrons should therefore be my favorites. So, are they? I would prefer this one to be brighter white, without tan spots or pink stamens.

2. White, to me, seems mundane for rhododendrons anyway. This is brighter white than the other, and lacks pink stamens, but has yellow centers. Simple white would be better.

3. Lavender, or whatever this color is, seems a bit more appropriate for rhododendrons. It is slightly more pinkish than it seems in this picture. Can it really qualify as lavender?

4. Lavender is a tint of purple, like pastel purple. Therefore, this may qualify as lavender more than the previous picture. It is slightly more bluish, with a slightly ruffly structure.

5. ‘Anah Kruschke’ was likely the most popular cultivar grown on the farm, and for good reasons. The pinkish purple bloom is exquisite and reliable. Foliage with form are ideal.

6. Purple and red are, in my opinion, the best colors for rhododendrons. Not many other flowers can bloom with such rich purples and reds. Other flowers provide better whites.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


16 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Rhody’s Rhodies 2022 – Prettier Than Pink? – (a sequel)

    1. We grew less yellow rhododendrons than white, and none live within the landscapes at work. To me, it seemed that yellow was either too pale or too bright, and the bright yellow looked like the weird cheese that hangs out of a Big Mac.

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    1. All of them are appealing, and everyone has different preferences. The light colors work well in the shady landscapes, and since these are not my landscapes, there are plenty of people who prefer the sorts of flowers that I do not prefer. This landscape would not be so impressive if I selected everything in it.

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    1. Well, there are a few flowers that are prettier with other colors besides white. ‘Travis L.’ is my favorite rhododendron in regard to pure white bloom, but its branch structure is too floppy to be practical in landscapes. (I would grow it for the bloom, but would need to stake the stems.) ‘Helene Schiffner’ likewise provides perfectly white bloom, but the floral trusses are too round, and the foliage is rather drab. Besides, while there are many other flowers to bloom well in white, few bloom with such lavish colors as the purple, red and pink rhododendrons. Crape myrtle is another example, which is rather mundane in white, but provides exquisitely bright pink and red bloom. We will be adding a pair of white bougainvillea soon, but only because the particular landscape is a white garden. For that species, I prefer the more traditional magenta (I think), red or purple bloom.

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      1. No, I still prefer crape myrtle colors for crape myrtle. I would only consider another white crape myrtle if I REALLY wanted white for a particular situation, and wanted it during the summer. ‘Natchez’ is uncommon here, but I did plant one for the foliar color in autumn. It worked out well, and fits in a tight spot.

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  1. I took a photo of a huge white flowered Rhododendron on wednesday, down in a dip with a solid green backdrop. There was just a touch of pink from the few remaining unopened buds to add interest. I think white needs a contrasting background more than other colours perhaps. Maybe I’ll send you the picture; I know you like getting pointless pictures.

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    1. Oh, . . . yes, the pointless pictures, . . . and of something that I see more of than most.
      White and light colors work well here precisely because the landscape is shady under the redwoods beyond. Actually, (and I am no expert on color), I suspect that the white rhododendrons that are blushed or blotched or otherwise discolored are prettier within our landscapes, just because pure white would look too plain. Some white flowers that are lower to the ground, such as zonal geranium and cyclamen, can look like litter if planted off in the distance. (Both work well in beds, planters and close to refined landscapes, but not off in the forest.) Furthermore, darker colors can look too . . . dark. I am fortunate that the rhododendrons here have been here for many years. I would have difficulty selecting cultivars. For my own garden, I intend to add one of the old ‘Travis L.’ rhododendrons, just for the bloom. I will put it where pure white will not look weird.


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