PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Azalea
The amount of different types of azalea’s available is incredible. Years and years of cross breeding azaleas have produced a significant amount of available for many different environments and climates throughout the world.
Azaleas are in the rhododendron family and are usually distinguished from other rhododendrons by their smaller plant size. The average size of most Azaleas is about 2-6 feet wide and tall. The best time to trim any azalea is after they bloom. Azalea’s bloom from flower buds that develop the previous year’s growing season so trimming them after the spring may result in fewer blooms the next year. There are both deciduous and evergreen azaleas.
Evergreen varieties do best in dapple shade and are cold hardy to only Zone 6. They bloom in early to mid-spring. Some of the more popular evergreen varieties that are available in our area include:
Kurume Hybrids that include
Hino Crimson (red)
Mother’s Day (red)
Girard Hybrids that include
Girard Crimson (red)
Girard Fuchsia (purple)
Gable Hybrids that include
Stewartstonian (brick red)
Deciduous varieties do best full sun and are cold hardier. They bloom later in the spring or into summer. Some of the more popular deciduous varieties that are available in our area include:
Pink and Sweet
Strawberry Ice (pink/peach)
Cannon Double (double cream pink)
Double Delight (yellow)
Fireball (bright red)
Maid in the Shade Hybrids were create to do well in mostly shaded areas.
Some of the more unusual hybrids include:
Encore Azalea An evergreen hybrid which was created as the first Azalea to rebloom during the growing season. They are recommended Zone 7 through Zone 10, however some varieiteis are suitable to Zone 6.
Gumpo Azalea: A low growing evergreen hybrid that get s no more that 2’ tall or 3’ wide.