The Complete Guide To Encore Azaleas
Encore azaleas have been some of the hottest selling landscape plants for years, and for good reason. Unlike common azaleas which bloom only in spring, these evergreen beauties flower repeatedly from spring through fall! The full range of color options ensures that there is an Encore azalea variety to please anyone.
Top Encore Azalea Varieties
• Autumn Angel offers snowy white single blooms and glossy, deep green foliage. This petite shrub averages three feet tall and wide at maturity.
• Autumn Belle is a beautiful azalea with semi double blooms that are bicolor, light pink/ coral throat, and light green foliage. It reaches five feet tall and four feet wide.
• Autumn Debutante has lightly freckled, pink single blooms and lustrous green foliage. It reaches four feet tall and wide when mature.
• Autumn Embers features strong red semi double blooms and deep green foliage. It grows to three feet tall and wide.
• Autumn Royalty is a large azalea with rich purple single blooms and medium green foliage. It grows to five feet tall and wide.
Choosing The Right Encore Azalea
Bloom color may be the starting point for many Encore azalea shoppers. The vivid colors really pop in the landscape. The reblooming habit of Encore azaleas adds a touch of color consistency through the growing season, off of which other seasonally blooming trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials will play.
Another feature to consider is sizing. Autumn Angel and Autumn Embers are smaller selections which serve well in more intimate spaces, while Autumn Royalty and Autumn Bell hold their own in the shrub border or as a privacy screen.
How To Plant Encore Azaleas
Plant Encore azaleas in locations that receive at least six hours of sunlight daily. These acid loving plants are fond of rich, well drained organic soil. The planting bed should be amended liberally with compost or organic planting mix. Dig the hole two to three times the width of the container the plant arrives in, and deep enough to bury all but the top half inch of the root ball. Gently tease out the roots, place the plant in the hole, and back fill with an equal mixture of native soil and compost. Firm the soil and water well. Finish off the planting with a three inch layer of mulch. Do not fertilize at planting time. After six weeks, apply a granular fertilizer recommended for acid loving plants.
Pruning Encore Azaleas
Early on, Encore azaleas need no pruning because they keep a nice rounded shape naturally. Once established, shaping may be done, if needed, after the first bloom cycle in spring has finished. Remove damaged branches at any time.
The bold colors of Encore azaleas make a huge impact in the landscape, especially when considering the long season of blooms. For a hassle free source of seasonal color, consider using them in place of annual flowers at the front entry or around the mailbox. Plant them in containers around the patio or pool. Add them to the rear of the perennial garden or the front of the shrub border. Pepper them into the foundation planting or mass them on a slope. The possibilities are nearly limitless.