Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’

hybrid rhododendron

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

'Christmas Cheer' (and its near-twin 'Rosa Mundi') have no rivals in their bloom time of late winter. Sometimes they begin to bloom in late January, but more commonly bloom in February or early March. Both have a petite truss of palest pink and when mature, become a dome of pink on a well-behaved plant. Experts say that 'Christmas Cheer' has slightly shorter leaves and blooms a week earlier than 'Rosa Mundi'.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: pink flowers in mid-winter

Wildlife Associations: bees, hummingbirds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: cream, silver, gold

Great Color Partners: bronze, dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes
This rhododendron is easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest. Plant it in rich well-drained or sandy soil in a location with full sun to light or open shade. Rhododendrons are shallow-rooted plants requiring regular watering during dry weather. Faded flowers can be removed to give a cleaner look and new growth can be pinched to help make young plants bushier. Adult root weevils can chew on their leaves, but this is less of a problem on plants that receive more light and regular watering.