Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'


Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhododendron (roh-do-DEN-dron) (Info)
Cultivar: Nova Zembla
Hybridized by Koster
Registered or introduced: 1902
» View all varieties of Azaleas and Rhododendrons




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



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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


Atlanta, Georgia

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 3, 2015, RrrrrGrrrr from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have six of these planted in the back garden. The blooms are beautiful. However, I had to be patient because they are slow growers. I lost a couple of them during a drought a few years ago. The remaining ones look very healthy. I've never done anything special to them, this year I am putting compost around the base of each one. The biggest of them is about five feet high by five feet wide.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.