Resplendent in bright colors, azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) energize spring landscapes. Until the late '90s, gardeners waited with anticipation all year to enjoy their azaleas’ once-yearly display. But with advances in plant breeding, you can now enjoy azalea flowers three times a year!
Their name says it all. These repeat-blooming azaleas bow out after their spring blossoms fade, but they come back for two encore performances – flowering again in summer and fall! This long-awaited introduction to the plant world contains diverse flowers colors and shapes to suit any gardener’s preference.
If you’ve found azaleas a bit finicky to grow, you’ll love Encore Azaleas!
- You can grow them in sunnier spots than conventional azaleas; in fact, Encore Azaleas thrive in areas that get 4 to 6 hours of sun, preferably morning sun.
- Field trials have shown Encore Azaleas to be more pest-resistant than other azaleas.
- Encore Azaleas are more cold-hardy than other azalea plants. Most Encore cultivars are perennials in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 10.
Which Colors Suit Your Fancy?
Choose from a rainbow of colors to complement your landscape design:
- Orange-Red: Autumn Embers (Rhododendron ‘Conleb’) sizzles with its 2.5-inch semi-double flowers on dwarf plants that grow 3 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. USDA hardiness zones 6b-9.
- Cherry-Red: Autumn Fire (Rhododendron ‘Roblez’) is a dwarf azalea, reaching only 2.5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. USDA hardiness zones 6-9.
- Purple: Autumn Royalty (Rhododendron ‘Conlec’) won the coveted “Azalea of the Year” award in 2004, which was awarded by the American Rhododendron Society. This is a tough shrub that grows to 4 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide with long-lasting single purple blooms. USDA hardiness zones 6-9.
- White: Autumn Angel (Rhododendron ‘Robleg’) is a dwarf azalea, growing 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, which is covered with snow-white 3” single blossoms. USDA plant hardiness zones 7-9.
- Pink: Autumn Debutante (Rhododendron ‘Roblel’) bears 3” single flowers on shrubs that reach 4 feet tall to 4 feet wide. USDA plant hardiness zones 6b-9.
- Bicolor Pink: Autumn Belle (Rhododendron ‘Robleo’) does not disappoint. Its bi-colored 2.5-inch flowers are ruffled, like the skirt of a belle of the ball! A bit taller than other Encores, Autumn Belle grows to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. USDA plant hardiness zones 7-9.
Planting and Growing Tips
- Plant Encore Azaleas any time of year, but if you plant during warmer months, be sure to keep them well-watered so they’ll have an easier transition in becoming established.
- Don’t let the soil dry excessively around newly planted azaleas or the plants may die.
- During the growing season, give your Encore Azaleas 1 inch of water each week if there’s not enough rainfall to maintain this level.
- Keep 2 to 3 inches of mulch around your plants to suppress weeds and conserve moisture.
- Use a fertilizer that’s blended for azaleas shortly after planting your shrubs, and be sure to follow all label recommendations.
- Withhold fertilizer after August.
- Protect your first-year Encore Azaleas by covering them if winter temperatures are extremely cold.