AZALEA

 

Introduction

 

There are many types of outdoor ornamental plants. The importance of the outdoor plants is to increase the aesthetic value that can enhance the beauty of the scenery and landscape.  One of the example of the outdoor ornamental plants is Azalea. Azaleas differ from rhododendrons in being generally smaller and having one blossom per stem rather than blossom clusters.


 

Azalea
Rhododendron x subgenus Azalea
(Ericacea family)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Description:

An ornamental flowering deciduous or evergreen shrub. 

 

Type:

Evergreen or Deciduous Shrub

Soil Preference:

Well-drained and acidic to slightly alkaline.

Light Requirements:

Sun to Partial Shade

Attributes:

This plant needs excellent drainage, mulching and a peat moss soil additive.  Roots will rot in poorly drained soil.   Will not do well in windy sites.   

Pests:

Lace bug, Azalea Bark Scale

Diseases:

Salt Burn, Sun Burn, Phytophtora Root Rot

Care:

Pinch off flowers after they fade.  Apply Di-Syston April 15th and July 4th to prevent lace wing fly.  Fertilize with Holly-tone approximately April 1st, May 20th, July 4th,  & October 30th.  Keep granular fertilizers off foliage and away from stems and trunks.  Use 1/2 the recommended rate of fertilizer for new plantings.

 

Cultivation

Plant enthusiasts have selectively bred azaleas for hundreds of years. This human selection has produced over 10,000 different cultivars.These flowering shrubs and trees of the heath family are familiar to all. A tremendous number of species and horticultural varieties are available, many of which may be grown as pot plants. Azaleas form flower buds in late summer and autumn, and bloom in the spring. Gentle forcing will produce flowers in the house during the winter and very early spring.

Azaleas are grown from seed and propagated by stem cuttings. The amateur gardener will not have much success in increasing his stock by either method. It is better to buy new plants, as they are needed.Planting azaleas and rhododendrons in a spot cooled by partial shade, where the soil is acidic and well-drained, is a step in the right direction in the proper care for azaleas and rhododendrons. Some varieties will tolerate full sun if sufficient water is provided. Soil pH should be about 5.5; have your garden soil tested first before planting azaleas and rhododendrons. An overly alkaline soil can be corrected by applying fertilizers for “acid-loving” plants, such as blueberries and azaleas. These specialty fertilizers will contain ammonium-N, which will lower soil pH. A good tactic for providing the necessary drainage is planting azaleas and rhododendrons in raised garden beds. Amend the soil with decomposed sawdust or pine bark (both are acidic), or apply garden compost.. Don’t apply fertilizer at the time of planting; new foliage and roots aren’t yet ready to handle the high salt content of fertilizer, and they can be burnt.

In either case, water well after planting azaleas and rhododendrons. The garment of color is retained for weeks if the plant is kept constantly moist. Generous watering is necessary, and it should be supplied from the bottom. After flowering, the plant should continue to receive water. As garden plants they eventually reach a height of 5 feet; as pot plants they bloom when only 8 to 10 inches tall.It is not advisable to prune azaleas too rigorously, yet ambitious green shoots may be removed to keep the plant symmetrical.

Since azaleas and rhododendrons prefer shade, it behooves landscapers to choose a good shade tree to have growing near them. Azalea and rhododendron plants like acid soil and have shallow roots. A shade tree compatible with them will not mind acid soil and will not have shallow roots. For if the shade tree, like the azaleas and rhododendrons, has shallow roots, it will be in competition with your bushes.

 

Problem solving if Azaleas do not bloom.

There are five factors that need to be figured if  Azaleas has not bloom yet.

1.Location:

Check the propagate location. If  nearby trees grow over time, the shade levels is increasing; or, conversely, if you’ve lost any nearby trees or had them removed, azaleas will be getting more sun than they used to.

Azaleas like some shade, as well as some protection from winds. However, when located in excessive shade, azaleas may produce a lot of greenery but fewer blooms.

2.Watering:

Delicate balance here. Azaleas can’t be allowed to dry out, but they don’t like “wet feet” either. Mulching can help with water retention and protecting the roots from the heat but mulch layer shouldn’t be any deeper than 2-3 inches.

3.Fertilizer:

Stay away from fertilizers high in nitrogen, which will spur foliage growth but interfere with blooming.

4.Pruning:

 For azaleas, the current year’s blooms stem from flower buds developed during the prior summer. If you pruned later than normal last year, you may have inadvertently removed the flower buds.

5.Weather:

Try to remember what the weather’s been like over the past year.

·         Was the weather hot and dry last summer? Drought can destroy azalea flower buds.

  • Was the weather especially cold this past winter? This is another condition responsible for killing azalea flower buds.
  • Conversely, lack of cold weather can sometimes result in a plant’s not blooming.
  • Were there any unseasonably warm periods in the fall or spring? Sometimes, azaleas are tricked into blooming during these periods (so-called “bud blast”). After such premature blooming, those azalea flower buds are lost to you for the next blooming season.

Example of varieties

Azalea ‘Blaauw’s Pink’
Blaauw’s Pink Azalea
zones 5-9

Description:  Salmon-Pink flowers

Bloom Color:

Pink

Bloom Time:

May 15th

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

2-3′

Spread:

2-3′


Azalea ‘Boudoir’
Boudoir Azalea
zones 5-9

Description:  A Gable hybrid that is hardy and dependable.  Watermelon pink flowers in May.

Bloom Color:

Pink

Bloom Time:

May 10th

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

4′

Spread:

4′


Azalea ‘Cascade’
Cascade Azalea
zones 5-9

Description:  White flowers in May

Bloom Color:

White

Bloom Time:

May 10th

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

3-4′

Spread:

3-4′


Azalea ‘Delaware Valley’
Delaware Valley White Azalea
zones 5-9

 

Description:  Large single to semi-double white flower in May.  Large medium green leaves.  A strong spreading grower.  Grows to 4′ in 10 years.

Bloom Color:

White

Bloom Time:

May 15th

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

3-4′

Spread:

3-4′


Azalea ‘Elsie Lee’
Elsie Lee Azalea
zones

Description:  Pretty double light lavender flowers bloom in May.  Blooms are similar to ‘Rosebud’

Bloom Color:

Lavender

Bloom Time:

May 15th

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

3-4′

 

 

Azalea Exbury ‘Gibraltar’
Gibraltar Exbury Azalea
zones 5-8

Description:  Bright orange flowers with shades of red and gold with frilled petals bloom in May. Grows to 5′ in 10 years.  DECIDUOUS.

Bloom Color:

Orange

Bloom Time:

May

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

5-6′

Spread:

5′


 

Azalea Exbury ‘Mandarin Lights’
Mandarin Lights Azalea
zones 5-8

Description: Mandarin-orange flowers in May.  DECIDUOUS.

Bloom Color:

Orange

Bloom Time:

May

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

4-5′

Spread:

4-5′


Azalea Exbury ‘Medallion’
Medallion Exbury Azalea
zones 5-8

Description:  Large orange-red flowers on this deciduous Azalea hybrid.  Green foliage also offers a seasonal color change in the fall.

Bloom Color:

Orange-Red

Bloom Time:

May

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

3′

Spread:

4′


Azalea Exbury ‘Mt. Rainier’
Mt. Rainier Exbury Azalea
zones 5-8

Description:  Large white flowers with an orange-yellow blotch. DECIDUOUS.

Bloom Color:

White

Bloom Time:

May

Foliage Color:

Green

Height:

5-6′

Spread:

5-6′


Azalea Exbury ‘Mount Saint Helen’
Mt. St. Helens Azalea
zones 5-8

Description:  Salmon pink flowers with a golden throat.  DECIDUOUS.  

Bloom Color:

Pink

Bloom Time:

May

Foliage Color:

Green

 

 

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