Native Plum Leaf Azalea blooms in late summer

Garden Tips

Azaleas can come in many shapes and sizes. Many are familiar with the evergreen, mounding varieties with profuse spring flowers. Most of these varieties originate from Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea. But there are some varieties native to the southeastern United States.

One of these native varieties is called Rhododendron prunifolium, also known as Plum Leaf Azalea. Though most of our native Azaleas bloom earlier in the spring, the Plum Leaf Azalea blooms much later in the summer, a perfect time of year to attract swallow tail butterflies and hummingbirds.

Like most native Azaleas, this variety prefers moist, well draining soil, and partial shade. Given time, the Plum Leaf Azalea can easily grow eight to ten feet tall and almost as wide.

The Plum Leaf Azalea blooms in a vivid red, but other native Azaleas sport white, pink, orange, or yellow flowers.

Native varieties like the Prunifolium variety are deciduous and won’t keep their leaves in the winter, but you can expect a decent amount of fall color. When Autumn comes, the leaves turn a yellow to a plum color before they fall for winter.

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