Some Basic Information On Native Azaleas
These are one of natures pure beauties and are a must for any landscape. They prefer a organic soil that is moist but well drained and slightly acid. Their root systems are very shallow often growing just below the soil line so when planting these do not plant them too deep as they will not survive. Plant them a little high and then put some light mulch around the top of the ball. most problems we see with these in the landscape when we go around and look at dead plants it is because it is either planted too deep or has too much mulch around them. As far as exposure, you see these mostly in deciduous woods where they get early spring sun then shade during the summer months. With that said in most climates they will take a few hours of direct sun, preferably morning sun, which will help them stay a more compact plant with more blooms. In real deep shade they will tend to get leggy and tall as they reach for sunlight and they will have less blooms, so if you do not have an area with morning sun light dappled shade is best under deciduous trees. All of ours are grow from seed so each variety will have some variation in the shade of color, like the Flame Azalea, most will be orange in color with some being a lighter color and some a little darker, very rarely do we get a red or yellow color. Hope this information helps as you make your selections. If you plan it right you can have a different variety blooming every month April through June.
This is by far one of the best of the deciduous native azaleas. Has white flowers, which have the fragrance of Honeysuckle, in the summer. When this becomes a large shrub and is in full bloom you can smell it form a great distance, it is fantastic. This is the latest blooming native Azalea we carry it blooms in the summer, which is usually June here at the Nursery. It does like a little extra moisture if possible, but will also grow in drier soils.
Semi – shade, Rich Moist Soil, Summer, 6-12 ft Tall, Zones 5-8
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Rhododendron calendulaceum - Flame Azalea
This is probably the most commonly seen Azalea in the mountains of N.C. It is deciduous and has bright orange flowers, which appear just after the leaves appear in the late spring. The flower shades will vary from light orange to dark orange depending on soil,sun,exposure, and many other factors. It puts on a beautiful show in a semi- shaded area. It is very tolerant of warmer climates.
Semi-Shade, Rich Soil, Spring, 6-8 ft Tall, Zones 5-8
This is a deciduous variety with pink flowers early in the spring before the leaves appear. More commonly seen in the piedmont sections, but will survive in cold climates. The bloom resembles that of a honeysuckle except it is pink. This variety will spread somewhat by underground runners.
Semi-Shade to Sun, Rich Soil, Spring, 8-15 ft Tall, Zones 5-8
The earliest blooming of the Native Azaleas, blooms in the spring before any of the leaves appear which really makes the blooms stand out. Most of these are a light pink but you will see some that are a little darker and once in awhile you will see a white one. Natively these are seen a thigh elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains but we have many customers that have these way down into Alabama, so they are very adaptable. The leaves are larger that most other Azaleas and are a deep shiny green and then they turn a bright red in the fall. Give this some sun and it will stay compact and be full of blooms and put on a great spring show.
Semi-Shade to Sun, Rich Soil, Spring, 6-12 ft Tall, Zones 4-7
Native Evergreen Rhododendrons
This is an evergreen variety that has light pink flowers early in the spring. This is the first evergreen Rhododendron to bloom in the spring. The leaves are dark green and are smaller than the other evergreen Rhodo’s. Likewise the blooms are smaller but are very numerous and make a real show in the early spring. Very tolerant of different conditions and a reliable bloomer year after year.
Semi- Shade, Rich Soil, Spring, 4-8 ft Tall, Zones 5-8
This is an evergreen variety that blooms late spring to early summer. The blooms are not red contrary to the common name, they are lavender. Do not try to grow this one in hot climates, it will not survive. It does love cold weather and will withstand harsh winter winds. Will tolerate some sun in cool climates. Must have very rich moist, but well drained, soil.
Sun to Semi-Shade, Rich Soil, Spring to Summer, 6-15 ft Tall, Zones 3-7
Rhododendron maximum - Rosebay Rhododendron The largest and hardiest of the Rhodo’s. It is evergreen and can reach heights of 10-25 ft Tall. Has beautiful white, sometimes tinged with pink, flowers in the summer. When these bloom here in the mountains you know summer is half over, is usually blooming for the 4th of July. Does like the shade but will tolerate some sun in cooler climates.
Shade to Semi-Shade, Rich Moist Soil, Summer, 10-25 ft Tall, Zones 4-8
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