Azalea Time

If you think shrubs in North Carolina, one plant that  will almost assuredly come to mind is the Azalea.  Azaleas are definitely one of the most sought-after plants in our area.  And why not?  Azaleas and rhododendrons are shrubs for all seasons. In winter some stand out with large evergreen leaves. In spring the flowers are showy; throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep green color to the garden. Some deciduous azaleas add bright fall color before the leaves drop. The spectacular spring flowers of azaleas and rhododendrons make them among the most popular garden shrubs.

Yes, springtime in the Carolinas means Azaleas in full bloom, and do we ever have a ton to choose from down at Garden Supply.  From white to hot pink and orange to red, we’ve got options in every color, including the ever popular Encore Azaleas offering blooms spring, summer and fall.  Check out this stunning Wolfpack Red Azalea, released by NCSU.  Perfectly adapted for growing in our area, this little charmer packs a lot of punch.

These Carla (North Carolina-Louisiana) Hybrids originated at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., with the goals of better resistance to root rot diseases, drought and cold. These hybrids, whose parentage includes Kurume, Kaempferi, Belgian Indian and Satsuki hybrids, are medium to large evergreen shrubs with a vigorous growth habit. Flowers are borne in mid spring in showy trusses of up to four blooms. Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acid soil, rich with organic matter.

For a bright pink/magenta variety, how about the Formosa Azalea.

These Azaleas are spring blooming and the foliage is evergreen. They have an upright growth habit and are the best choice for a high light area. The Formosa has beautiful magenta deep colored flowers that grow profusely during the spring. The flowers are 3 inches in diameter, Azalea indica ‘Formosa’ can get up to 6-8 feet in height and does best on acidic soils.

Another beautiful pink variety is this Coral Bells azalea.

Abundant coral pink hose-in-hose blooms with darker pink centers and veins make a wonderful spring show.  A hose-in-hose azalea is one for which every trumpet-shaped flower has a second trumpet-flower inside it.  Flowers are backed by tiny evergreen foliage on a low spreading form.

Or how about something completely different?  Say a stunning orange azalea to spice up your shady nooks?  Then be sure to check out this Azalea x Goldstrike species which boasts striking gold flowers with orange blotches.

And for the serious Azalea lover, be sure to check out our selection of gorgeous Encore Azaleas. People who adore spring blooming azaleas can now enjoy an explosion of Encore Azalea color season after season. Encore Azaleas are the only patented brand of azaleas to bloom in spring,summer and fall. Each of the Encore varieties begins their performance with the spring flowering season. Once this “first act” of blooming concludes, new shoots begin to grow and set buds. The Encore Azalea’s “second act” opens when these buds begin blooming into full flower mid-summer. This unique bloom season continues through the fall, the curtain dropping with the onset of cold weather. But, the show goes on. As an “encore,” these exceptional azaleas flower again with traditional spring azaleas and the process starts over.

The red variety on the left is Autumn Sunset, and the pink bloomer on the right is called Autumn Belle.  We also have the white Autumn Moonlight variety.

And this last little charmer for today is a variegated pink species appropriately entitled Autumn Twist.

Come on down to the garden center and let our friendly experts advise you on picking the perfect azaleas and shrubs for your home landscape.  We are open 7 days a week and are ready to help you get your gardens in tip-top shape this season.  Hope to see you all soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I’ll be back here soon for more snippets from the garden.