Rhododendron x yakushimanum ‘Golden Torch’

(Golden Torch Rhododendron)


Hardiness Zones:

 7a  7b  8a  8b  9a  9b

Quick Overview:

One of the most celebrated Rhododendrons ever grown, ‘Golden Torch’ has been heaped with honors ever since its 1971 introduction, including England’s prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticulture Society in 1993. It continues to reign as a favorite in gardens from north to south, thanks to its sun tolerance, absolutely beautiful color changes, and compact, densely-flowered habit. ‘Golden Torch’ regales you with clusters of salmon-pink buds in spring on well-branched, low-growing shrubs just 3 to 5 feet high. The buds open to reveal blooms that are initially pale pink, then quickly turn to a buttery yellow. The petals continue to alter their hue as they mature, eventually becoming creamy and even ivory.

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Best grown in acidic, humusy, organically rich, medium moisture, moisture-retentive but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers a sun dappled shade. Plant in a location protected from strong winter winds. Good soil drainage is essential (doesn’t like “wet feet”). Poor drainage inevitably leads to root rot, therefore raised beds/plantings should be considered in heavy clay soils. Shallow, fibrous root systems (do not cultivate around plants) will benefit greatly from a mulch (e.g., wood chips, bark or pine needles) to help retain moisture and stabilize soil temperatures. Roots must never be allowed to dry out. Acidify soils as needed. Clip off spent flower clusters immediately after bloom as practicable.  (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder)

Additional information

Common Name

Golden Torch Rhododendron

Botanical Name

Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Golden Torch'

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-shade, Part-sun





Soil Condition


Water Needs


Blooming Period


Flower Color

pink to yellow



Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


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