Rhododendron fortunei 'Hachmann's Best'

Rhododendron fortunei 'Hachmann's Best'


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Flowering Month:
Flower Colour:
To -20 °C
Height After 10 Years:
Interesting Foliage:
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3 litre
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15 litre
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(FORTUNEA H6) Deep pink buds open to wonderful large scented trusses of pinky white flowers, tinged with a yellow centre. The flowers are wide funnel campanulate shaped with 7 lobes, in lax trusses during May and June. This is the hardiest scented species, but it still needs protection from wind and late frosts. It is a fast growing plant that will start flowering after 5 years, and it's definitely worth the wait. It has olive green oblanceolate leaves and its fresh young foliage is particularly attractive with purple-red petioles. It has a broad upright habit reaching a height of 150-175cm in 10 years, and eventually a height of 3-9 metres.

R. fortunei is named in honour of Robert Fortune (1812-1880), the Scottish plant collector, and has been much used as a parent in many garden hybids. This selection was made at Hachmann's Nursery in Northern Germany and combines fine flowers with a strong growing plant. 


  • Recommended for lovely scented flower and foliage.
  • Easy to grow.
  • Ideal position: sheltered woodland.
  • Habit: upright, tree-like.
  • Group: Species Rhododendron.
  • Subsection: Fortunea.
  • Introduction date: pre 1900 (1855).
  • Species distribution: Central South and Eastern China.
  • Approximate altitude: 600 to 1,200m.
  • Ideal soil: pH 4.5 to 6.5.
  • RHS Hardiness Rating: H6.
  • How we usually propagate this plant: Graft
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit, 2013.

The Basics

Ideal soil

Acidic soil, good organic content, pH 4.5-6.0. Inkarho range of rhododendrons will tolerate soils up to pH7.5

Sun or Shade

Light dappled shade is best for most varieties.


Refer to hardiness rating. Give young plants protection.

Site Selection

Avoid close to trees, roots, invasive weeds, walls, hot patios, dry banks and waterlogged soils. Do not use weed matting or stone mulch.

Plant spacing

Use the height shown in 10 years as a guide to the distance between each plant. Allow room for plant to fill out. If planting closer for instant impact, be prepared to move plants after a few years.


  • 3 litre pot, dig in 10-20 litres of ericaceous compost.
  • 7.5 litre pot, dig in 20-30 litres of ericaceous compost.
  • 70-80cm specimen, dig in 60 litres of ericaceous compost.
  • 100-120cm specimen, dig in 120 litres of ericaceous compost.

Planting depth

Plant high in the ground, with the top of the rootball visible.


Slow-release ericaceous feed recommended in March and straight after flowering.


Recommended every few years.


The key ingredient! Keep moist all season, especially the critical time at end of June for flower bud initiation. Tap water is better than no water. Heavy dose at least once per week in dry weather.


Ensure good drainage in winter, especially with yellow flowering varieties. Avoid waterlogged sites.


Rhododendrons and Camellias: Not normally required. Tidy wayward shoots after flowering.

Evergreen azaleas and Bloombux can be clipped into a low hedge.

Magnolias and Acers: Formative pruning when young to shape into a tree or bush.


Remove old flower-heads, particularly on young or weak plants.

For further advice see here

Size Guide

Size guide

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