Sunday, May 3, 2009

Azaleas With a Twist

Azaleas are a Southern staple. The area where I live is wonderful to behold in March when all the Formosa azaleas are in bloom. I love azaleas, but hate that they look like big, green meatballs for most of the year. Enter the Encore azaleas which were developed by a fellow in Louisiana. These babies can have up to 3 flushes of bloom per year if given the right conditions. I've read that Encores need more sunlight than normal azaleas, at least if you want several flushes of bloom. Also, they come in an amazing array of colors. The one I have is called Autumn Twist. It has speckled, streaked blooms in addition to having the occasional solid magenta bloom. This is a bloom pic taken on April 27 when all my regular azaleas were completely finished blooming for the spring. This is my first Encore azalea, but it probably won't be my last. Incidentally, this is my best year ever for azalea blooms and I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that I installed a drip irrigation system that ensured they never suffered from lack of water over the last year. I hear azaleas have a shallow root system and do not tolerate drought well. I also keep mine mulched pretty well.


Dirt Princess said...

If azaleas bllomed year round, my yard would be covered in them!!! You are right....they aren't very attractive the other 320 days of the year! My mom has encores, but I have not tried them many others tings on the list!

Rose Triste said...

i love the azalea, everything explodes with color in spring, like a carpet!