High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

shrub

Purple Gem Rhododendron

Rhododendron 'Purple Gem'

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Purple Gem Rhododendron (Rhododendron 'Purple Gem') at Moana Nursery

Purple Gem Rhododendron flowers

Purple Gem Rhododendron flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Purple Gem Rhododendron (Rhododendron 'Purple Gem') at Moana Nursery

Purple Gem Rhododendron flowers

Purple Gem Rhododendron flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Description:

Beautiful large purple blooms with violet streaks and edging adorn this majestic shrub in mid to late spring; an accent shrub that will definitely make an impact; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil.

Ornamental Features

Purple Gem Rhododendron is covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented purple trumpet-shaped flowers with violet streaks at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has olive green foliage which emerges bluish-green in spring. The glossy narrow leaves turn an outstanding coppery-bronze in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Purple Gem 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 shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Purple Gem Rhododendron is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Purple Gem Rhododendron will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub should be grown in a location that is shaded from the hot afternoon sun. 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 leaves 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 both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

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

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.