It’s spring azalea season, and here are a few of our favorites…
Delaware Valley White. An excellent, early flowering white azalea with evergreen foliage.
Rosebud. One of the prettiest azalea flowers; double pink, deciduous.
Girard’s Crimson. Bright crimson-red flowers. Evergreen. Leaves acquire red and copper tones in winter.
Mandarin Lights. Bright orange flowers. Deciduous.
Azalea Attributes and Care
Azaleas are generally part sun plants. They perform best with at least four hours of sun and will tolerate full sun. They will not do well with too much shade.
People often ask how long the flowers last. The truth is, like other spring-flowering shrubs, it’s only a few weeks. Make sure you’re happy with the appearance of the foliage, because that is what you will see for the rest of the season.
Some azaleas keep most of their leaves in the winter; others are completely deciduous. Azaleas are great for foundation plantings, but we recommend choosing an evergreen variety for an area that will be highly visible in the winter.
Most azaleas will mature to about 3-4′ tall and wide. Some varieties, such as Mandarin Lights, grow a little taller. Others, like Flame Creeper, stay quite low. We give our azaleas a light trim as soon as they are done flowering. This removes the dead flowers and promotes denser growth.
Deer like to munch on azaleas, so we don’t recommend them for areas where deer grazing is a problem.
As with other members of the rhododendron family, azaleas require careful watering during the establishment period (the first full year or two). Don’t let them get dry to the point of wilting, but also don’t over-water. Prolonged sogginess can cause root rot. Water them as soon as the top of the root ball begins to dry.