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Landscaping with Azaleas

azalea - landscaping with azaleas

 

Azaleas are some of the best landscaping shrubs. They are easy to grow, drought tolerant, and colorful. Most azaleas are evergreen so they provide year-round interest. There are new varieties of azaleas that bloom in multiple seasons, tolerate full sun, and are pest and disease resistant. Landscaping with azaleas is a breeze. These plants don’t ask for much as far as maintenance, but give us so much beauty!

 

Landscaping with Azaleas

How Fast Do Azaleas Grow?

The growth rate of azaleas can vary a good bit from variety to variety and environment to environment. But these plants do tend to grow fairly fast for their size, especially when they are young. In fact, they can grow up to a foot in height and/or width in a growing season under ideal conditions. So they will fill out fairly quickly in your landscape, taking only about 4 or 5 years to get to full size from a 3 gallon plant. Some dwarf azaleas will grow faster outward than upward. I have some intermediate Encore Azaleas we just planted 2 months ago that have already put on at least a few inches of growth! Thank you, North Carolina spring! I would guess that most of these newer varieties are going to average about 4 to 6 inches of upward and/or outward growth per year since they tend to be smaller azaleas.

 

How Long Do Azaleas Bloom?

Traditional azaleas' full bloom cycle is only about 3 weeks in spring. Fortunately for us, there are new varieties like Encore that bloom in spring and re-bloom in summer AND fall! Yes, that’s right! 3 seasons of gorgeous azalea flowers.

 

What To Plant With Azaleas

Pieris Mountain Fire

Azaleas seem to fit into most landscapes and complement just about everything. I really like azaleas with plants that make them stand out more with stark contrast. Keep in mind that azaleas enjoy acidic soil and often prefer some shade when choosing companion plants for them. However, our favorites, the Encore azaleas can grow in full sun Just about any traditional evergreen plant will enjoy the same soil.

 

I like pairing azaleas with junipers of any type from ground cover to shrub to tree. Ornamental grasses are super easy to grow and offer great texture and strong contrast to azaleas. They also tolerate a pretty wide range of soil pH including acidic. I love Maiden Grass (miscanthus), Pink Muhly Grass, and Shenandoah Switchgrass. Most ferns, hostas, and heuchera plants work great with azaleas. These plants can grow in acidic conditions and enjoy shade. Another unique plant that enjoys these conditions and would be a fabulous friend to your azalea is the pieris. I recommend the Mountain Snow Pieris or the Pieris Mountain Fire.

 

Planting Azaleas In The Landscape

Planting azaleas in your landscape is fairly straightforward. Just be sure to avoid planting them too deep. The soil line of the plant should be just slightly higher than your existing soil line. 


Water your plants deeply when planting and once daily for the next few days. Then water thoroughly about twice per week for the next month. You can cut back to once weekly for the rest of the establishment period (another month or so).


Fertilize with our slow release fertilizer when planting to give your azalea bushes a boost. It will not burn your plant’s roots like other harsh fertilizers.

 

Landscaping with Azaleas

Landscaping with Azaleas

Because there are different sizes of azaleas, they can be used for different purposes in the landscape. The most common use of azaleas is as foundation plants, but they also look great in other areas of the landscape. Sun tolerant azaleas can be used just about anywhere. I like them for borders, hedges, containers, and in mixed beds. Consider mixing a small dwarf variety like the Autumn Chiffon Encore Azalea with a taller intermediate variety like Autumn Twist for a nice layered look.

 

My Top Picks 

Autumn Angel Encore Azalea

Autumn Angel Encore Azalea

Growing Zones: 7-10

Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide

 

 

Autumn Belle Encore Azalea

Growing Zones: 6-9

Mature size: 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide

 

Autumn Chiffon Azalea

Autumn Chiffon Encore Azalea

Growing Zones: 7-10

Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide

 

 

Autumn Empress Encore Azalea

Growing Zones: 6-10

Mature size: 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide

 

 

Autumn Fire Encore Azalea

Autumn Fire Encore Azalea

 Growing Zones: 6-9

Mature size: 2.5 feet tall and 3 feet wide

 


Autumn Lilac Encore Azalea

Growing Zones: 6-10

Mature size: 3 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide

 

 

Autumn Moonlight Encore Azaleas

Autumn Moonlight Encore Azalea

 Growing Zones: 6-10

Mature size: 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide

 


Autumn Sunset Encore Azalea

Growing Zones: 6-10

Mature Size: 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide

 

 

Autumn Twist Encore Azalea

Autumn Twist Encore Azalea

 Growing Zones: 7-10

Mature size: 4 to 5 feet tall and wide

 


Hardy Gardenia Azalea

Growing Zones: 7-9

Mature size: 2 to 4 feet tall and wide

 

 

Pink Gumpo Azalea

Pink Gumpo Azalea

 Growing Zones: 6-10

Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide

 


Red Ruffle Azalea

Growing Zones: 7-9

Mature size: 3 to 5 feet tall and wide

 

 

White Gumpo Azalea

White Gumpo Azalea

Growing Zones: 6-10

Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide

 

 

 

Now you are ready to landscape with azaleas. These common, but exciting plants, can transform your yard and home. The best part is that they are easy to grow. Browse our huge selection of Azaleas and Encore Azaleas. Happy planting!

 

You May Also Like:

Hydrangeas

Hydrangea Trees

Rose Bushes

Rose Trees

Butterfly Bushes

Camellias

Gardenias

 

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