R. sinogrande sports the largest leaves of all the big-leaf rhodies. In its native Yunnan, Tibet and upper Burmese forests, it can be found reaching a height of 50 feet! This plants wins every prize for sheer grandeur of leaves, which range from eight to thirty-six inches in length. In the captivity of our garden, our R. sinogrande trees have enjoyed living under stately tall firs, hemlocks and cedars on the Olympic Peninsula since 1999 and have grown to fifteen feet in fifteen years.
Flowers are in big trusses of creamy-white or pale yellow flowers with a large red spot. R. sinogrande also makes a spectacular container plant and will bloom in a much shorter time than if planted in the ground. We estimate it to be hardy to about 15 degrees.
This rhododendron will like: A woodland setting with high shade – small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine’s day and Mother’s day – protection from high winds – gentle watering – well aerated soil with good drainage – protection from bitter cold under 15 degrees. A blanket of frost cloth thrown over in those times will help. Some of our customers have wrapped Christmas tree lights under the cloth as well. (Just not the LED type – there’s no heat from them). Others move the container into the garage or sun porch. Yes, this plant is worth all the extra effort. Just ask Cisco Morris, who has one of our plants in a container as a star attraction in his garden.