Friday, March 25, 2011

A Paradise of Azaleas

The azaleas are about to reach peak bloom in my area.  Some aren't there yet, but will be in a few days. 

This first bush is the oldest and most common azalea in these parts - the venerable Formosa azalea.  It gets huge and is still breath-taking at peak. 

This is a close-up of the Formosa blooms.  The hot pink color really stands out on the bush and in the yard.

These are some smaller bushes that I have around the North foundation of my house.  They are Red Ruffles and Pink Ruffles.  They don't get nearly as huge as the Formosas but are covered in bloom and look better as a foundation plant. 

Here is a better shot of the Pink Ruffles blooms

I would be negligent not to include at least one picture of the blooms on my new Encore Autumn Moonlight azalea.  These will bloom several times per year instead of only in the spring.  However, they are not as covered in bloom as the once-bloomers.  The Encores like more sun than regular azaleas.

Here is a picture of my best Red Ruffles plant.  It's not quite at full bloom yet, so I'll try to post some more pictures in a few days. 

Everyone in the South should grow at least a few azaleas.  Northerners would die to have them, so anyone who can grow them is downright remiss if they don't.  Plant them in part sun, mulch them well - preferably with pine straw - don't let them get too dry while young, and watch them grow.  They need acidic soil so it might be advisable to get yours tested.  You can put additives into the soil to make it more acidic. 

1 comment:

Nell Jean said...

Yay for the azaleas. Formosa is a fav. The sport Judge Solomon is my fav of that type.

Mine are not opening all at the same time this year. Some of the whites already look like dirty kleenex while the little lavendar poukhanense has hardly a bloom. I'm giving them all a good drink this afternoon.