Rhododendron yedoense var. poukhanense
Best grown in acidic, humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, moisture-retentive but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Plant in a location protected from strong winter winds. Good soil drainage is essential (doesn’t like “wet feet”). Poor drainage can cause root rot, therefore raised plantings should be considered in heavy clay soils. Shallow root system (avoid cultivating around shrub) will benefit greatly from a good organic mulch (e.g., bark, oak leaves or pine needles) to retain moisture and to stabilize soil temperatures. Roots must not be allowed to dry out.
This Korean azalea is a spreading, low to medium sized shrub which typically grows 3-6′ tall with an 8-12′ spread. Evergreen in mild winters, but deciduous in cold winter climates. Dark green foliage turns an attractive orange-red in autumn. Lavender to rose purple, slightly fragrant, 2″ wide flowers, each with a darker blotch, appear in trusses of 2-4 flowers each in early spring (April-May in the St. Louis area). An important parent in the development of many of the hybrid evergreen azaleas in commerce today.