In Stock - Ships in 4 to 7 days
Lee's Dark Purple Rhododendron purple flower cluster
Lee's Dark Purple Rhododendron closeup of purple flowers
Lee's Dark Purple Rhododendron purple flower cluster
Lee's Dark Purple Rhododendron closeup of purple flowers

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Mature Height: 6-7' tall
  • Mature Width: 6-8' wide
  • Exposure: full sun/partial shade
  • Spacing: 6-8' apart


  • Hand Selected, Fresh from the Grower
  • Ships in a plant-safe designed box

Lee's Dark Purple Rhododendron

Bower & Branch Trees and Plants

Rhododendron catawbiense 'Lee's Dark Purple'

Regular price Still Growing
Shipping included
Security Icon

Why the Lee's Dark Purple Rhododendron?

Since Victorian times, Lee’s Dark Purple Catawba Rhododendron has been a beloved Accent for lightly shaded beds and borders. Enthusiasm for this fine selection hasn’t waned—it’s still a favorite many generations after its introduction. What’s not to love? Generous bunches of regal purple blossoms adorn its branches each year in late spring, and fantastic, dark, wavy leaves clothe it from head to toe all year-round. Use it as a bold specimen or as a backdrop to more delicate plants. It also makes a neighbor-friendly privacy screen when planted on your property line and requires hardly any pruning.

Lee’s Dark Purple is a type of Catawba Rhododendron. From late April through June, the Catawba Rhododendron lights up shady hillsides and forest understory in the Alleghany Mountains, bringing its rosy purple cheer to a region extending from southern Virginia to northern Alabama. Lee’s Dark Purple therefore calls the U.S. home, although it also owes an allegiance to the U.K.; it was bred by an English nurseryman by the name of John Lee in 1851. It is known as one of the “Ironclad” Rhododendrons for its ability to cope with frigid winters and other challenges.

How to use in the landscape?

Some Rhododendrons can be a bit tricky to grow, but Lee’s Dark Purple is one of the most resilient. With proper care, it thrives in the colder states—down to -20ºF—and tolerates the heat and humidity of the South as well. This one is a winner!

Why Bower & Branch?

We do the hard part. Our trees and plants are grown and cared for by only the best, local growers for years before they find their forever home in your landscape. Bower & Branch is known for having hard-to-find, substantial sizes and selection. The quality of our trees and plants are consistent in health and vigor—always ready for immediate impact in your garden and instant curb appeal. We believe in empowering homeowners with the truth about strong, healthy and structurally sound plants that are grown to perform in the ground after they leave the nursery for home delivery, always fresh inventory from the grower

How To Plant

Catawba Rhododendron is tougher than many Rhododendrons, but it does appreciate good siting and aftercare. Plant Lee’s Dark Purple in part shade, in cool, acidic, well-drained soil for best results. Keep the rootzone moist but never soggy. An annual layer of organic mulch will help to retain moisture. Avoid harsh chemical fertilizers—Catawba Rhododendron is sensitive to overfeeding.

How To Fertilize

Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.

Planting Zones

Hardiness Zone: 5-9

How Does Shipping Work?

Size AA & AAA (our Treelings, Shrubs, Bushes, and Perennials) will be shipped directly to your home by a common carrier. Ships in a plant-safe designed box within 5-7 business days.

Our Guarantees


Bower & Branch guarantees customer satisfaction within all product groups and sizes. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the product or experience, you have 90 days from the original date of purchase to request a replacement of the purchased product(s).


Reach out to a Plant Whisperer:

- Email:

- Phone: 866-873-3888

- Or via Online Chat

Shield Logo
Protect your growing investment!

Our 3-Year-Tree Guarantee

We stand behind our trees and plants; our goal is your success.