Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Koichiro Wada' AGM

Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Koichiro Wada' AGM

Item: SYAK

in stock In stock

Flowering Month:
Flower Colour:
White, Pinky/White
To -20 °C
Height After 10 Years:
Not Scented
Interesting Foliage:
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Pink in bud opening to delightful white bell shaped flowers in May that have the appearance of apple blossom. Koichiro Wada has silvery new growth which turns dark glossy green, with dense brown indumentum underneath the leaf. There is a distinctive white covering (tomentum) on the top of the leaves. Height 50-75 cm in 10 years.
This is generally accepted to be the best form of yakushimanum, selected from seedlings raised at Exbury Gardens. This is the FCC form (awarded in 1947) and was imported by L. de Rothschild in 1934 from K. Wada in Japan. It normally requires specialist grafting to propagate, but then is an easy grower, and performs so much better than seedling raised plants often offered for sale elsewhere. It is the parent of many excellent low-growing yakushimanum hybrids, but few compare to the quality of this original parent. We love this plant for its pretty flower and exceptional foliage.

This plant was selected by members of the RHS Rhododendron Camellia and Magnolia Group as their favourite Rhododendron, in a poll of members during their Centenary celebrations in 2016.


  • Ideal for containers and small gardens.
  • Easy to grow.
  • Ideal position: Dappled shade.
  • Habit: Compact bushy.
  • Group: Rhododendron.
  • Subsection: Pontica.
  • Introduction date: pre 1950 (1934).
  • Species distribution: Yakushima Island, Japan.
  • Approximate altitude: 1,200-1,800m
  • Ideal soil: pH 4.5 to 6.0
  • RHS Hardiness Rating: H7.
  • How we usually propagate this plant: Graft.
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit.



Customer Reviews

By on
"Plant arrived in good condition, and was larger than expected. This species probably doesn't look its best in Autumn, but it has established well after planting, and looks set to produce some flowers next year."
Star Rating 4
By on
"A fine quality plant in excellent condition. Covered in buds for the spring. I have recently started buying plants from this nursery and have been impressed with every specimen. Top notch quality and service."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Very good healthy plant"
Star Rating 5
By on
"Beautiful healthy looking plant, arrived promptly."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Am over the moon with the purchase of this in my opinion 'king of rhododendrons, a superb plant."
Star Rating 5
By on
"We received a very healthy plant, larger than we anticipated, and securely and robustly packaged. Excellent service"
Star Rating 5
By on
"Plants as always excellent well packed and very fast service would highly recommend."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Really great specimens which came within a few days. Excellent service and delivery. Moreover, condition of plants and sizes have surprised on the upside and the planted specimens are already thriving. Highly recommend this supplier and the Koichiro Wada specifically - beautiful flowing Rhodo."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Very happy with my purchase. Plant was well packaged and in excellent condition. Will happily purchase again. "
Star Rating 5
By on
"Lovely healthy plant, flowering well already and new buds forming."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Very pleased; healthy plant, quick delivery!"
Star Rating 5
By on
"Plant quality;size,root-ball and condition overall. Packaging excellent ."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Plant quality;size,root-ball and condition overall. Packaging excellent ."
Star Rating 5
By on
"My friends were very pleased with their gift, Rhododendrum yakushimanum ‘Koichiro Wada ‘AGM. The quality of the plant, and it’s healthy and interesting foliage. They can’t wait for it to blossom, such a beautiful white blossom."
By on
"nice rounded plant blooms now starting to break"
Star Rating 5
By on
"Very good plant, just waiting for it to flower. Excellent service. Thank you."
Star Rating 5
By on
"as usual first class plants in superb condition. look absolutely fabulous in a small to medium garden."
Star Rating 5
By on
"All plants from your nursery have arrived superbly packaged and, in perfect condition, they look beautiful, thank you, I am just about to order more. AM"
Star Rating 5
By on
"Really pleased with my plant which is my favourite rhododendron, I have subsequently received rhododendron Golden Everest, Also very pleased with that."
Star Rating 5
By on
"Great quality plants and fast dispatch"
Star Rating 5

Good to know

Species Rhododendrons often have wonderful foliage, but are fairly specialist and are best grown by more experienced gardeners.

These are the plants which were discovered by plant collectors, growing in the wild in the Himalayas and other mountain regions of the world. Being species they do not have the ‘hybrid vigour’ of named varieties, but they often do have great character and interest in flower and foliage. We pride ourselves in one of the best ranges of rhododendron species in the country, and we try to propagate these from recognised good forms. These may be identified by the original plant collector’s seed number, (eg R. denudatum EGM 294) or by a clonal name given to a selected plant (eg R. degronianum ‘Ho Emma’). Many new species rhododendrons have been introduced in the last 25 years, and many are well worth growing for their foliage alone!  

Rhododendrons like moist acidic soil, with good drainage, and plenty of organic matter such as leaf-mould and added ericaceous compost. Species should be given the best planting positions, which are neither too wet nor too dry. Yellow varieties need especially good drainage. For a guide to plant spacing, use the height we give in 10 years as a guide to the distance between each plant. Plant no deeper than the top of the rootball, and dig in plenty of good ericaceous compost around the sides. Most species require very little fertilizer and half a teaspoon of slow release feed is sufficient for a 3 litre plant, rising to a tablespoonful for a mature plant. Those in the taliensia and neriiflora subsections are particularly salt-sensitive, and should only be fed with a mulch. Most species in this section are not troubled by deer and rabbits.

Please note: It can take a number of years before some species start to flower, but often you can enjoy some lovely foliage while you are waiting. Flower colour of species can vary considerably from one clone to the next. eg R. campanulatum can flower from white to pink or deep lilac, and R. arboreum flowers from red to pink to white depending upon the elevation collected. Typically, species are not recommended for growing in pots, as it is too difficult to provide the necessary care that they need.

For further advice, For further advice, see here

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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