Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rhododendron sinogrande; my favorite plant in the garden, this week…

I think it knows…

…knows that it’s the last Rhody left on our little plot of land. It heard the cries as the front garden Rhody was sent packing. And as a result it’s wooing me all over again by pushing out new foliage!

I bought this Rhododendron sinogrande earlier in the spring (at Nerd Night). I’d always wanted one and here it was right in front of me, why not? It’s the big leaves that got me, but the new growth and its shades of brown really have my attention.

I’ve heard conflicting advice, sun…shade…lots of water…average water. I planted it where it gets a little more sun than I'm comfortable with, and of course in my usual fashion it’s crammed in very near other plants. But heck, every one of these I’ve seen has been less than vigorous so I figure it’s not going to take off and become a monster anytime soon. When it does…well then I’ll be in trouble.

The stats:
  • Hardy in zones 8 – 10
  • Eventual size 15 – 30 ft wide, 25-50 ft tall (hahaha…I am in trouble)
  • Part sun to Part shade
  • Well drained soil, rich, with even moisture
  • Evergreen, spring flowering with creamy yellow flowers

I bought mine at the Gossler Farms booth at Nerd Night, however plant lust indicates both they, and Far Reaches Farm, have it available mail order, if you’re so inclined. And I’ll let you know when mine starts to outgrow its spot…and long before it ever reaches 30 ft x 50 ft.

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

29 comments:

  1. Yes, that size prediction had me worrying too. I'm hoping it's slow-growing. I didn't realize you had seen quite a few that were not that vigorous.

    Does your R. sinogrande have a name?

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    1. I believe it's a hardiness thing Alison, a string of nice "winters" like we've been having can be very nice to them, but a cold winter they don't like.

      No name...some plants just tell me what their name is, others keep quiet. Plus they've got to have an out-sized personality for me to remember!

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  2. But what about the Eryngium agavifolium? I'm on the hunt.

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    1. Oh indeed, that plant is ALWAYS at the top of my lists. You're in Seattle right? Ask one of the nurseries that carries Xera plants to order them in like maybe City Peoples?

      (http://xeraplants.com/Xeraplants.com/WHERE_TO_BUY_09.html)

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    2. I bought two of them last year from Old Goat Farm in Orting.

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  3. rhodo sinogrande is ultra tropical!! Definitely a cool rhodo.

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    1. Glad you approve! Do you ever see them up your way?

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    2. They are often available in nurseries around Vancouver - at least over the last couple of years. I believe there are some huge specimens at Van Dusen Botanical Garden. And a few members of the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society have been growing them. They always make me stop in my tracks. High impact for sure.

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  4. I've not seen any that have grown to monsterous proportions either. Love the foliage on this plant even more than Loquat because the new foliage is so beautiful.

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    1. More than the Loquat!? That's serious!

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  5. Definitely not a rhodie for New England. Beautiful foliage though. Hope it stays at a manageable size for you for the foreseeable future.

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    1. So true...and me too. I can't even comprehend seeing those big leaves on a plant 30ft wide and 50ft tall!

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  6. Given time when it grows a bit more you'll see....you'll love it even more!

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    1. So it sounds like you guys have one? (I can't remember it!) Has yours bloomed?

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  7. What a beauty! Unfortunately can't grow that one here.

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  8. Three years in the ground has seen very little growth on our sinogrande, and I hear it takes them at least ten years to flower. Sounds pretty pokey to me, so I guess you're safe for the forseeable future.

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    1. My friend JJ was there when I bought this one and she said hers flowered last year (it's small)...I would really be fine with no flowers ever!

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  9. The color of those new leaves is... I don't know. Calming, but also disturbing. It's the color of one of those while-you-wait plastic injection animals I got years ago at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago (and that you can still get I believe -- anybody know what I'm talking about?) I'm glad they don't stay that color. It's also a zombie color I'm pretty sure.

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    1. I have no idea what you're talking about! (while-you-wait plastic injection animals) Sounds kinda creepy though. And they are so much softer than zombie skin!

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  10. fifi la fontaineJune 13, 2013

    Oh,I've been tempted by that sinogrand-a-licious Rhody,but was scared that it might be too tender for our winters. I love the leaves!

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    1. I seem to have a talent for acquiring the tenders...I'll keep you updated on how it does.

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  11. Zone 10! Why don't we see plants like this down here? Oh well, the moisture requirements would probably be a problem anyway. BTW, what's that low, spikey-leafed plant in the front of the bed?

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    1. Eryngium agavifolium (http://plantlust.com/plants/eryngium-agavifolium/) unfortunately 9b...but maybe you could get away with it? It is a fabulous plant!

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  12. I've tried and killed more sinograndes than I care to admit. Hope yours fares better than mine!

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    1. Yikes, me too. I knew it was a gamble going in...

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  13. I garden in Ballard Seattle. What do you think killed them? Did they die in winter or summer? I am curious because I have one but it is in complete shade about three feet from my fence line where my neighbor has a hedge of spruces mixed with vine maples.

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  14. AnonymousMay 04, 2016

    I live in Sth East Ireland and have one about 8 years. Its twice lost all its leaves, once due to wind, the second time due to a (rare) cold winter, temps down to -9, for here that's rare. It was sitting in a frost hollow at the time, which I didn't realise. It recovered both times and is now about shrub size, roughly a 4ft cube. I moved it for the third time this year and its now in flower for the first time. The flowers are worth waiting for. I had no problems with moving it, as the roots stay in a mat near the plant. I brought about 18 inches of soil with the plant. I hope its finally where it will stay now, it's in the most sheltered part of the garden from wind and cold and I can now see it from the kitchen window. Declan

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    1. Wow - lots of good knowledge here, thanks for sharing your experience with us Declan. Mine is still chugging along, and making me happy.

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