Native Region: China
Zone Range: 6-9
Preferred Climate: Semi sun; well draining humus rich acidic soil.
Harvest Date: Friday 28 December, 2007
Seed count: 30-40
This tree rhodoendron has an open sinuous form to 4 meters in height with equal spread at 50 years. In May, flower buds arranged in loose clusters open to reveal red tips of the blooms which later fade to near white loosely with scarlet speckled markings within. Lance shaped dark green leaves with cinnamon indumentum.
This variey is intolerant of prolonged drought and windy sites. Being a seaside garden, this was remedied by planting on the lee side of a solid wood fence. A bucket of water or two during the summer solved the drought problem.
To conserve space and improve germination rates, use 10-15 cm deep nursery pots. Each pot is large enough for 50-100 seeds. Prepare two types of medium. Bottom layer: equal parts moist finely milled peat, coarse sand, and perlite. Germination layer: finely milled moist peat moss. Fill pot half way with the first and gently firm then add the second until 2 cm from the rim (allows growing space for seedlings). Gently tamp firm. Ensure medium is moist, place prepared pot in a tray of warm water. Your fingertip should tell you if the medium is well hydrated. Drain excess moisture. Evenly sow seed on the surface. DO NOT COVER SEED. A fine mist will settle seed on the germination surface. Stop misting when seed has full contact with medium. Maintain humid conditions via plastic cover. Seed need 20 C and darkness to germinate. Donít let the germination layer dry out or become too soggy. Should germinate in 2-8 weeks. Provide light when seedlings emerge. Feed with dilute fertilizer via misting. Prick out and harden off when seedlings have 2-4 sets of true leaves.