In 1957, prof. Rihards Kondratovičs started a breeding programme of new rhododendron cultivars at the University of Latvia. The goal was to create outdoor rhododendrons that are ornamental, hardy and suitable for agro-climatic conditions of Latvia. Since 1980 this work continues in the Experimental Rhododendron Breeding Nursery "Babīte", University of Latvia. There have been made 682 crosses in different combinations, grown many thousands of seedlings from hybrid seeds and then distinguished several hundreds of perspective hybrids from seedlings.

In 1999–2021, after successful test of cultivars, 131 outdoor rhododendron cultivars (56 deciduous and 75 elepidote rhododendron cultivars) have been approved and included in the International Rhododendron Register and Checklist of The Royal Horticultural Society.