Rhododendron Vs Magnolia | Difference Between Rhododendron and Magnolia

Raul Cornelius is a Senior Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA and a BCom, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities. Passionate about writing and photography, he enjoys early mornings with coffee and books, and nature bike rides during weekends.
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Rhododendron Vs Magnolia? Do you know the difference between these two flowers, or do they confuse you? Don’t worry! We’ll help!

Rhododendron Vs Magnolia! This is the question of the hour today, and to help you with the differences between these two, we have all the correct information! Read ahead.

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What is Rhododendron?

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Rhododendron belongs to the family of Ericaceae. It is a flowering, shrub-like plant found in wet or moist woods and sometimes in dense habitats throughout the United States and Europe.

The flowers are typically red, pink, white, purple, orange, magenta, blue, and a mix of these shades.

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Similarities Between Rhododendron and Magnolia

  • Rhododendrons and Magnolias, both are known for their glossy-thick leaves and colorful flowers.
  • They bloom in early spring in the summer shades of pink, white, and red.
  • Both love bright but indirect sun and grow best in well-draining but moist soil.
  • These flowers are easy to care for and not that prone to pests.

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What is Magnolia?


Magnolia belongs to the family of Magnoliaceae with over 200 species. It is native to tropical, temperate, and subtropical regions of Central America and Asia.

Usually, it is grown as a shrub or a small tree and is known for its showy, fragrant, and beautiful flowers and evergreen, glossy, attractive leaves. It symbolizes longevity, perseverance, endurance, nobility, and dignity.

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Rhododendron Vs Magnolia 

Rhododendron  Magnolia
Family  Ericaceae  Magnoliaceae
Life Span Perennial  Perennial 
Type Broadleaf Evergreen  Broadleaf Evergreen 
Origin Southeast Asia, Himalayas, New Guinea Southeastern United States 
Types Rhododendron aberconwayi, Rhododendron bulu, Rhododendron kanehirae Anise Magnolia, Bigleaf Magnolia, Ashes Magnolia, Cucumber Tree, Southern Magnolia
Number of Varieties Over 1,000 Over 200
Natural Habitat Moist forests  Marshes, Marshy ground, Swamps
Sunlight Requirement Full Sunlight to Light Shade Full Sunlight to Light Shade
USDA Zones 4-9 7-10
  • Magnolias are not same as Rhododendrons. It is named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol.
  • Magnolia is the state tree and flower of Mississippi.
  • While Rhododendrons do not have deep, thick taproots, Magnolias have large unbranched, rope-like roots that can grow up to 3-4 times the canopy’s width.
  • Magnolias do not produce nectar; they produce abundant pollen, which is high in protein. In contrast, Rhododendron has nectar in huge quantities.

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