Virtues: Rhododendron ‘Percy Wiseman’ is easy on the eyes with the creamy pinks and peaches of its changeable flowers. In late spring, ‘Percy Wiseman’s’ many flowers fade to ivory. This plant serves well as an accent shrub standing at most 4 to 5 feet tall. Given moist, well-drained acidic soil, this rhododendron makes a long-lived shrub with year-round interest.
Common name: ‘Percy Wiseman’ rhododendron
Botanical name: Rhododendron x’Percy Wiseman’
Flowers: This floriferous shrub produces clusters of elegant trumpet-shaped flowers with yellow throats and branches streaked pink at the ends. The plant’s blooms will have turned creamy white in late spring after passing through shades of red, pink and pale purplish pink. A variety of colors can be seen at once on this rhododendron as individual flowers open and mature at different times. The funnel of the flower measures 2 in. in diameter.
Foliage: Rhododendron ‘Percy Wiseman’ is an evergreen shrub with dark green foliage. The leaves are glossy, narrow and about 3 in. long. This shrub is many-branched and grows in an upright, spreading fashion.
Habit: Compact, rounded. ‘Percy Wiseman’ can reach a mature height of about 5 feet with a similar or slightly wider spread. It’s “leggy”—its lowest limbs usually clears the ground by one foot. Its rough texture makes a nice contrast against more delicate landscape plants. It is a long-term relationship with this slow-growing shrub—expect it to live 40 years or more if well cared for.
Season: Year-round for evergreen leaves. Late spring for flowers.
How to grow it: ‘Percy Wiseman’ prefers partial shade but can withstand full sun in cooler climates. The soil requirements are highly acidic and organic, kept well-drained and moist with regular watering. A fairly sheltered location will protect it from harsh winter sun and winds. This rhododendron has a nice natural size and shape, but if you feel you must prune it, do so immediately after it flowers. Hardy to USDA Zone 6.
Get 5 illustrated how-to articles on growing shrubs, including how to plant shrubs that prefer acidic soil, in the download “Shrubs.”
Get a downloadable packet of feature-length garden-design articles that cover really practical matters, such as landscaping around a deck and creating a welcoming front-yard garden, in “Landscaping Ideas.”
Learn how to create a garden that looks great in every season with the bundled resources in the Plan Now for a Year-round Garden value pack.