Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

RHODODENDRON 'Rocket'

Image of Rhododendron 'Rocket' (Shammarello Hybrid)

Bosh Bruening

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

RHODODENDRON 'Rocket'( Shammarello Hybrid)

Plant Common Name

Rhododendron, Rocket Rhododendron, Shammarello Rhododendron

General Description

A compact rhododendron, ‘Rocket’ is noted for large clusters of single, open funnel-shaped, very frilly blooms. The flowers are brilliant magenta with a dark scarlet blotch and appear mid-spring. The plants are upright, rounded and dense in habit. Large evergreen leaves are thick, glossy, dark green and tinged bronze when new.

Anthony Shammarello of Euclid, Ohio spent decades starting in the 1930s selecting and testing rhododendron hybrids. He was looking for plants with exceptional cold hardiness, a neat habit and characteristics which make them suitable for landscape use. By the 1960s, he released a series of large-leaf rhododendrons with blooms that spanned the season from early to late, are remarkably hardy and are compact to intermediate in size. Most are the results of a numbers of crossing and are complex hybrids.

The beautiful Shammarello rhododendrons are large-leaf types. They are also known as elepidote which means the leaves are without scales. The rounded shrubs are densely clothed in dark green, shiny foliage. The large leaves are elliptical to oval, held alternately on the stem, usually clustered towards the ends and slightly aromatic when crushed. An abundance of flower clusters (trusses) appear in the spring.

Rhododendrons prefer sites with partial shade and highly organic, acid soil that is evenly moist but well-drained. They are susceptible to a wide variety of fungal diseases and insect pests and will be more at risk if not provided with the correct growing conditions. Plant them shallowly and mulch well to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. They prefer locations with warm summers, cool winters and do require some winter cold for good growth. The flower buds develop in summer for the following spring’s display, so prune shortly after flowering, if necessary.

Consider a plant’s mature size when designing with Shammarello azaleas. They are best grown in shaded woodland gardens, containers, mixed borders, or as specimens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Hot Pink, Magenta

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No