R. insigne delights with candy-striped flowers of pink and white supported by beautifully polished dark green leaves that are quite stiff. The indumentum on the backside of the leaf is an equally polished silver.
R. insigne makes a compact shrub that may reach four feet in ten years. It likes to branch and prefers a bright spot with some sun. It comes from Yunnan and Sichuan in western China.
R. insigne is unique among rhododendrons because it insists on being deadheaded after blooming in order to initiate its new growth! (Usually deadheading just makes the plant look better). Even then, new growth may not appear on a flowering branch until the next year.
This plant does NOT like fertilizer, especially when young, so go easy.
It wants light but not prolonged direct sun, so a mix of sun and shade is perfect. It will get leggy if grown in too dark a spot.
Well-aerated soil with good drainage is a must, and even moisture keeps it growing well.
Hardy in Western Washington.