Azaleas are green bushy plants that are covered in flowers every spring and are an old southern favorite.
The traditional Azalea is an evergreen shrub that ranges in heights from three to eight feet tall. Most varieties of Azaleas will bloom in April and May but will grow new growth and set new flower buds by mid-summer for next spring’s flowers. If you need to prune your evergreens, it is best to do so right after spring because newer blooming varieties of evergreen Azaleas can re-bloom. These new blooms may look like traditional Azaleas but instead can set flower buds on new growth to replace them once a year.
Although, not all Azaleas are evergreen. Most native Azaleas will lose their leaves in the winter, but the payoff is hundreds of beautiful flowers that resemble honeysuckle. Native Azaleas also range in different colors that the evergreens don’t, such as yellow or bright orange.
Regardless of the variety, most Azaleas need loose organic soil for their shallow roots to penetrate. Red clay soil should be avoided or at least amended with better soil. Azaleas can be planted in full sun, but prefer a cooler afternoon and part shade is appreciated. In the summertime, especially during drought, Azaleas need a little extra water and a couple of inches of mulch or pine needles will help keep the roots cool and moist.
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