LANDSCAPE GARDENING 101
Of The Rhododendron Family
THE Azalea is one of the oldest Flowering Shrubs. The Azalea comes in various sizes. I love the Dwarf size as I can use many of them in a smaller area. One of the things that impressed me when I came to this area is the huge Azalea Shrubs in the Median of a super, busy highway and they were all in bloom. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I had left a cold, rainy, over cast with clouds place, to sunshine. The first sight of flowers was the Giant Azalea.
The Azalea loves moist (not soaking wet), loamy, acidic soil. The Azalea loves mostly shade with a little sunshine. Breeders of the Azalea have increased the amount of sunshine they can withstand in some varieties. My Azalea’s are Dwarf and only grow 3-4′ H x 3-4′ W and they have Repeat Blooms in the Fall. I scatter them throughout my natural area under trees for a lot of shade with some sun. I have one Azalea that has more exposure to sun and I may have to move it as its’ Foliage looks a little more yellow, where the others with more shade look greener.
I have them scattered all around my Yellow-Green Hosta which are quite large and the contrast is stunning as all the Azaleas are a Red-Orange Flower against deep-Green foliage and are about the same height as my Hosta. I have three types of Dwarf Azalea. All are Repeat Blooming Azaleas:
- Bloom ‘N’ Again Fireside Red Azalea. Marketed by Monrovia
- Bloom ‘N’ Again Savannah Sunset Azalea. Marketed by Monrovia
- Bloom ‘N’ Again Orange Frost Azalea. Marketed by Monrovia
- More Blooms More Often Autumn Sunset. Marketed by Encore
The Azalea can also be found in China, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil etc. The Appalachian Mountains have them growing wild. The Azalea is considered an Evergreen and loves cooler as opposed to hotter weather. The Cold Hardiness of my Azaleas is -10 to 0*F. Only use Moderate Watering. Encore (More Blooms More Often Autumn Sunset) Blooms in Spring, Summer and Fall and can use more sun than the Monrovia Azaleas. All seem hardy from USDA Zones 6A-9.
You can use the Dwarf Azalea in Containers for those of you who have even smaller yards and less time to care for a lot of plants. Azaleas are easy to care for and I haven’t had to do anything except plant them where they get good drainage, partial shade and water them throughout the summer. That’s it! I have them planted in partial shade under trees and they thrive for me. I get good rainfall in my area and I have them planted on a slight hill so the water drains well.
I Do Not put them in a container without drainage holes as they will sit in water and get root rot. Before I plant anything in a container, I turn my containers upside down and my husband uses his drill to make 1/4″ to 1/2″ holes in the bottom of the container. The holes allow for the water to escape so my plants Do Not sit in water. If I don’t want water running out of the container I place an old plate or pick up plastic ones at the hardware store to catch the water. I can recommend the Azalea as a delightful addition to the yard.
“AFTER THE WINTER, AZALEAS GIVE COLOR AND CHEER TO THE YARD”