Nova Zembla Rhododendron

Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'

21 Reviews

Nova Zembla Rhododendron

Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'

21 Reviews


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Red Rhododendron, Nova Zembla, is a classic variety known for the brilliance of is flowers, its hardiness and its ability to grow well in sunny locations. One of a group of Rhododendrons described as ‘iron-clad’, this bush certainly deserves that name. This extremely hardy plant will grow in most places and will bring you with a fantastic show of large red blooms whose inner markings resemble leopard skin, with darks spots covering the upper inner petals. Easy to grow and maintain, this evergreen shrub will grow to around eight feet high and so allows planting where larger examples just could not be considered.

  • Huge spectacular red flower clusters
  • Easy to grow in part-sun or shade
  • Top choice for your first rhododendron
  • Hardy to minus 25 degrees
  • Moderate size suitable for any garden

If you are new to growing Rhododendrons, this should be your first choice, since it is hardy in part-sun or shade, cold-tolerant and undemanding – a real beauty for easy growing and trouble-free gardening.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
Mature Width 8-10
Mature Height 6-8
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 4-8

Finding that perfect plant that brings vibrancy and color to your garden is very satisfying but usually involves a lot of looking and research. Sizeable plants are especially tricky as the height and breadth have to be considered when choosing that perfect spot. Rhododendrons have long been used to bring drama into our landscape and they can be either very small or extraordinarily large. This variety gives a good shrub-like height and structure without trying to spread or seed elsewhere in your garden, and it won’t obscure the sunlight with a high dense body of leaves.

Red Rhododendron Nova Zembla will fatten itself outwards, growing into a large mound of lovely deep green foliage that in mid-spring every year will become smothered in wonderfully dramatic red flowers that attract bees and butterflies to your property. There is much drama added to your green spaces when utilizing this cross breed but very little work needed to maintain it. When you plant one of these you’ll find it a great trade off of doing very little to shape or maintain, but being the recipient of a great reddish pink cloud of blooms come mid spring that will attract a wide variety of visiting wildlife.

There is a huge range of different plants in the rhododendron species, and there are now many cross breeds which accentuate particular features. They are native to a good many areas including North America, Russia, Asia, Australia and the Solomon Islands to name but a few, and they are generally considered to be Alpine native plants. Because of this wide range, they are suited to many varied environments. Rhododendron Nova Zembla is possibly the hardiest of all the hybrids available and has few things that are considered a must for successful growth.

Growing Red Rhododendron Nova Zembla

When choosing a position for your Nova Zembla be sure to take into account the plant’s desire for full sun. Although these plants will tolerate partial shade, they will give the best flower performance with plenty of sun and warmth. It is important that the soil is well-drained, as although they like to moist, they do not like to be left in standing water or boggy patches as this can cause various rots. Winter winds can be unkind too, so it is worth finding a spot that will offer some shelter once the temperature drops and the breeze cools – although this is not always necessary, as the variety really is considerably hardier than your average rhododendron.

Planting and Initial Care

Well–drained soil is a must and when you are planting your new addition out into your chosen spot, be sure to bear in mind that the roots of this plant sit just under the soil and do not want a hole digging that is deeper than the depth of the pot you bought it in. Apply an acid rich mulch and plenty of water to introduce it to its new home. It will perform to its best in slightly acidic to neutral soil, so if you have alkaline soil then it is always worth looking at potted versions that can grace seating areas and patios. Planting in alkaline soil can result in a yellowing of the leaves and could eventually kill the plant without remedial action.

Long-Term Care and Maintenance

Be sure to keep your plant moist and preferably do this with rain water, as the many chemicals in tap water can upset rhododendrons, although as already mentioned this hybrid is vastly more forgiving than many others and will tolerate most of what you throw at it. Thanks to its hardiness, it does not suffer especially from diseases or pests but it is wise to ensure that your rhododendron has plenty of room for air as this keeps the chances mildew to a minimum, especially on a plant as dense as this one.

After bloom, an acid rich fertilizer can be added, and in order to help keep it cool in the height of summer a layer of mulch can be laid at the base of the plant; this will also assist with stopping the top soil, beneath which the roots sit, from drying out too much. Pruning should be undertaken after the flowers have dropped as this is when next year’s buds form; if pruning take places after this has happened then you will be reducing the show you’re looking forward to in spring.

Adding Red Rhododendron Nova Zembla to Your Garden

When you have catered to the few needs of this particular hybrid then this fast growing plant will become a lovely compact mound of evergreen foliage that every year will explode with huge numbers of richly colored blooms, and it should continue doing this for around 40 years. Bees and butterflies will thank you for this bright and bold addition to your landscape whether the local climate is hot or cold. Nova Zembla is indeed a fabulous member of the rhododendron family, and we encourage you to browse other varieties like the Everred Rhododendron or the Lemon Ice Rhododendron.

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Nova Zembla Rhododendron

Rhododendron 'Nova Zembla'

21 Reviews