Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rhododendron
Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhododendron (roh-do-DEN-dron) (Info)
Cultivar: Nova Zembla
Hybridized by M. Koster and Sons; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1902

» View all varieties of Azaleas and Rhododendrons

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 36 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RosinaBloom On Sep 19, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

My Rhododendron Nova Zembla didn't flower last year. I've only put grass clippings from the lawn around it, and it is now flowering in all its glory welcoming small bumble bees. A delight in the garden. It is at this stage just under 6' x 6' high.

Positive harper97 On Jun 5, 2010, harper97 from Pelham, NH wrote:

This is a terrific and popular rhodie for my area, zone 5b NH. The color is the reddest one is likely to grow this far north, kind of a hot magenta, which I love. I have mine in poor, gravelly soil so it is not as big and lush as some I've seen in my town, but even though I didn't get around to feeding last year, I still got some big, beautiful blooms this spring. The color does fade as the blooms age, but it's a winner in my book.

Negative Marlina On Aug 4, 2009, Marlina from Blaine, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Both me and my mother have this plant which makes it barely through our winter. The buds often don't open . The leaves are all brown and crusty and after having it for about 5 years now I am about to pull it out and get another PJM . It would look beautiful if it looked like the pictures but only about 5 flowers at its best year. I have moved it I have wrapped in burlap over the winter to protect it all to no avail.

Positive soulgardenlove On May 1, 2007, soulgardenlove from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I'm glad to know that this is considered one of the hardiest Rhododendrons as I had three, have had one die, half way lost the other and finally after a few years, one has bloomed quite nicely and is pictured here. I look forward to this one growing larger and hopefully propagating to replace the ones I've lost. It's is a gorgeous bloomer and I'm glad to have it despite the loss and bad health of the companions.

Positive Todd_Boland On Feb 14, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is considered the hardiest 'red' rhododendron although the colour is more pinkish-red. It is considered one of the 'iron-clad' or Catawba rhododendrons, hardy into zone 4.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Marietta, Georgia
Alfred, Maine
Olney, Maryland
Dracut, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Kalkaska, Michigan
Port Huron, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pelham, New Hampshire
Southold, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Fairview, North Carolina
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Murrysville, Pennsylvania
West Dummerston, Vermont
Waverly, Virginia
Hartford, Wisconsin

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