Yakushima Rhododendron Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
rhododendron 'Edelweiss'


Rhododendron 'Edelweiss' is an evergreen shrub known for its striking features and stunning flowers. It has a compact, mounded form with deep green, leathery leaves that remain on the plant throughout the year. The most remarkable aspect is its flower display; the blooms are an enchanting white, often with a hint of pink as they bud. These flowers cluster at the branch ends in tight, truss-like groups, creating a magnificent contrast against the dark foliage. The petals exhibit a rounded shape, contributing to the overall lush appearance. Additionally, the plant can produce a soft, fuzzy coating on the underside of the leaves, which adds a unique texture to the visual presentation. All in all, Rhododendron 'Edelweiss' is an alluring plant with a sophisticated display of foliage and blossoms.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Yakushima Rhododendron, Edelweiss Rhododendron

    • Common names

      Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Rhododendrons, including the Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss', contain toxic compounds that can be harmful to humans if ingested. These toxins, primarily grayanotoxins, can cause poisoning known as rhododendron poisoning or grayanotoxin poisoning. Symptoms of this toxicity tend to appear a few hours after ingestion and can include vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, hypotension (low blood pressure), abdominal pain, and potentially life-threatening cardiac complications. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to coma or death. Medical attention should be sought immediately if ingestion is suspected.

    • To pets

      Rhododendrons are also toxic to pets. The Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss' contains grayanotoxins, which can cause serious health issues in animals. Symptoms of toxicity in pets may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, loss of coordination, and in severe cases, seizures, coma, and potentially death. Cardiac problems can also arise, as the toxins affect cardiovascular function. If a pet ingests any part of a rhododendron plant, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately, as prompt treatment is essential for recovery.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.61-0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      2-4 feet (0.61-1.22 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Offers vibrant, colorful blooms that enhance the aesthetics of gardens and landscapes.
    • Evergreen Foliage: Maintains a green appearance throughout the year, adding continuous visual interest.
    • Compact Growth: Suitable for small gardens or limited spaces due to its relatively small size.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal pruning and care once established, ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Cold Tolerant: Able to withstand cooler temperatures, making it suitable for a variety of climates.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Flowers provide a food source for bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Shade Tolerant: Can thrive in partially shaded areas where other plants may struggle to grow.
    • Versatile Landscaping: Can be used in various garden designs such as woodland gardens, borders, or as a specimen plant.
    • Durable: Resistant to many common pests and diseases, ensuring longevity with proper care.
    • Seasonal Interest: Offers year-round interest, with foliage in winter and flowers in spring or early summer.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Prop: Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss' blooms are often used as a stunning prop for garden photography, creating an impressive backdrop for portraits and macro photography.
    • Natural Dye: The petals of the 'Edelweiss' Rhododendron can be used to produce a natural dye for fabrics, yielding unique shades of pink or purple depending on the mordant used.
    • Bonsai Art: Due to its compact growth and attractive foliage, 'Edelweiss' Rhododendron can be transformed into a bonsai, offering enthusiasts a rewarding challenge with beautiful results.
    • Theme Gardens: This plant is ideal for creating fairy tale or storybook-themed gardens, providing a lush, mystical atmosphere.
    • Memory Gardens: 'Edelweiss' is often planted in memory gardens as a living tribute to loved ones, symbolizing purity and memorializing the past.
    • Holiday Decorations: The leaves and flowers of 'Edelweiss' can be used in wreaths and natural holiday decorations due to their evergreen nature and attractive blooms.
    • Ikebana: The Japanese art form of flower arrangement, Ikebana, employs the unique structure of Rhododendron yakushimanum's flowers and leaves to create balanced and harmonious compositions.
    • Horticultural Therapy: 'Edelweiss' Rhododendron can be part of therapeutic gardens designed for horticultural therapy, which can aid in improving mental well-being.
    • Art Subjects: The intricate blossoms are a popular subject for botanical illustrators and artists, who capture the beauty of 'Edelweiss' in various artistic media.
    • Educational Tool: Botanic Gardens often use 'Edelweiss' Rhododendron as an educational tool to teach about plant adaptations, such as its hairy leaves that limit water loss in high mountain habitats.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Rhododendron is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Rhododendron is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Beware: The Rhododendron is known for its toxic properties and thus often symbolizes caution or a warning to beware.
    • Elegance and Wealth: Due to their showy, often expansive blooms, rhododendrons are associated with elegance and opulence.
    • Survival: Rhododendrons are hardy plants that can survive in challenging climates, representing endurance and the ability to overcome adversity.
    • Warning: In some cultures, Rhododendron is a plant to be treated with respect due to its poisonous nature, symbolizing a warning sign.
    • Temporal Beauty: As Rhododendron blooms are not long-lasting, they can represent the transitory beauty of nature that must be admired before it fades.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Rhododendron, commonly known as Edelweiss Rhododendron, requires consistent moisture but does not like to sit in wet soil. It should be watered deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which usually equates to once or twice a week, depending on the climate and weather conditions. Ensure that the plant receives about 1 inch of water weekly, and increase the frequency during hot, dry periods. To avoid fungal diseases, water the plant at the base rather than overhead, and use about 2 gallons of water per plant each time you water, adjusting as needed for size and environmental conditions.

  • sunLight

    The Edelweiss Rhododendron thrives best in partial shade to filtered light conditions. It should be placed in a location where it receives dappled sunlight throughout the day, avoiding the harsh afternoon sun, which can scorch its leaves. An ideal spot would be under the high, open canopy of trees that provides bright, indirect light.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Edelweiss Rhododendrons do well in temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit; however, they can tolerate brief periods of colder weather down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be protected from harsh winter winds and extreme heat. The ideal growing temperatures are moderate, cool to warm, but not too hot.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Edelweiss Rhododendron should be done to maintain shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and promote bushier growth. It is best to prune right after the flowers have faded, usually in late spring or early summer. This allows time for new growth to mature and set buds for the next season. Pruning should be done selectively, cutting just above the node where new buds form.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Yakushima Rhododendron should be well-draining, with a high organic matter content. An ideal mix might comprise equal parts of peat moss, pine bark, and perlite or coarse sand to ensure good drainage. This rhododendron variety prefers acidic soil with a pH range of 4.5 to 6.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Yakushima Rhododendron typically requires repotting every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil and to accommodate root growth. It is best repotted in spring before the growing season begins, and more frequently if it's growing in a container that's too small or the soil is compacted.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Yakushima Rhododendron thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally around 60-80%. They benefit from a humid environment, which can be provided by using a humidity tray or misting the leaves regularly, especially when grown indoors.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep in bright, indirect light with high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade, mulch well, shield from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss', commonly known as the Yakushima rhododendron, begins its life cycle as a seed, which upon germination in appropriate conditions of acidity and moisture, develops into a seedling. The seedling grows into a young plant, establishing a root system and producing leaves. As it matures, the Yakushima rhododendron enters a vegetative stage where energy is primarily invested in growth and leaf production. Following this stage, it enters the reproductive phase, characterized by the development of buds that bloom into its distinctive white or pinkish flowers in spring. After pollination, often by insects, the flowers develop into seed capsules, which upon maturity release seeds, completing the life cycle. The plant also has the ability to reproduce vegetatively through cuttings, which is a common horticultural practice to propagate this particular variety.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Edelweiss', commonly known as the Yakushima Rhododendron 'Edelweiss', is most suitably propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings. This is typically done in the late summer, after the new growth has started to harden. To propagate, select healthy, disease-free shoots and cut a 4 to 6 inch (10 to 15 cm) section; ensure that each cutting has several leaf nodes. The bottom leaves are removed, and the cut end is dipped in a rooting hormone to enhance root development. Then, the cuttings are placed in a well-draining potting mix and kept under high humidity and indirect light until roots have established, which can take several weeks. During this time, it's crucial to maintain consistent moisture without overwatering, as this can cause the cutting to rot.