Rhododendron yakushimanum Koichiro Wada STANDARD

Rhododendron yakushimanum Koichiro Wada STANDARD

Item: DYAK

unavailable Currently Unavailable

Flowering Month:
Flower Colour:
Light Pink
Height After 10 Years:
Not Scented
Interesting Foliage:
To -20 °C
Currently Unavailable
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15 litre
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Pink in bud opening to delightful white bell shaped flowers giving the appearance of apple blossom, in the form of a compact truss in May. It features a distinctive white fluffy covering (tomentum) on the top of young foliage which washes off during the course of the summer, exposing the dark green glossy upper surface of the leaves. The lower surface of the leaves also starts off with a silvery indumentum when young, before maturing into a dense brown wooly indumentum in autumn. This thick covering of indumentum means that new growth is usually resistant to aphids and fungal infections. 

This choice variety has been grafted onto a straight stem at about 50-60cm above ground soil level to form a Standard. It has a neat lollipop-like head measuring 30-40cm wide now, which will grow to around 40-60cm in 10 years. Standards will always require staking with a good tree-tie to prevent wind damage. They prefer a fairly sunny position. We recommend light shaping of the previous year's growth after flowering to maintain the head shape. Any shoots developing on the stem or from the ground should be removed to preserve the clear stem.

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 it's pretty flower and exceptional foliage. 

    • 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.
    • RHS Hardiness Rating: H7.
    • How we usually propagate this plant: Graft.
    • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Good to know


Standard Rhododendrons (grown on a stem) were popular during the first half of the twentieth century, and are now finding renewed interest as they help to provide a variety of flowering heights and interest within the garden. We grow a limited range of rhododendrons and azaleas as standards, grown on a single straight stem. These are ideal for patio pots or formal situations (and better looking than a Bay tree!).

Please note: Standards require a good stake throughout their life to prevent wind damage. Taller standards are suitable for growing in the ground, but only short standards should be grown in pots to avoid being blown over in high winds. Standards such as evergreen azaleas can suffer in cold winters as the stems are more exposed than usual. Consider the use of pipe insulation on the stems in times of hard winters.

If growing in containers, repot into a slightly larger pot every 3 years, using a good ericaceous compost.

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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