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Azalea are perfect for growing in shady beds or pots, offering beautiful, colourful and long lasting blooms of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows in the Spring time.
Azaleas are shade-loving shrubs from the Rhododendron genus that come in evergreen and deciduous varieties. They’ve been bred for hundreds of years around the globe and are particularly prominent in Japanese and Korean culture.
Azalea are shrubs with prominent flowers that are popular throughout the world as a garden shrub, thanks to their bold colours and fondness for shadier spots, making them stand out as a choice for gardeners looking to brighten up their typically more drab areas.
Generally they are fairly slow growers that when eventually grown can reach up to 6ft in height and 5ft in width, depending on the variety.
There are lots of varieties of Azalea that differ in form, from lollipop trees to small shrubs, with single coloured and bi-colour flowered versions as well as evergreen or deciduous types, making them a great choice for most garden requirements.
They are shallow rooted shrubs, so benefit from a wider than deep hole when planting for added stability as the roots grow out.
They’re always best planted in a shadier spot outside and depending on the variety will reach heights from 1ft or 2ft up to 5ft or 6ft so position according to final size either at the back, in the middle or at the front of your bed.
They like fertile, well drained soil that’s not alkaline and also benefit from a yearly mulch of acidic leaf mould or bark chippings. If planting in wetter areas, raised beds or planters are a better option.
They don’t suffer from too many problems and can be grown with ease, although there are a few things to watch out for, such as galls, powdery mildew, rust and petal blight.
A good primer on potential problems, diseases that occur and pests to watch out for is available here.
Whilst beautiful, the Azalea is toxic to pets and livestock, so extra care must be taken if you have any furry friends in your home.
The biggest draw of the Azalea plant is its abundance of flowers that encapsulate the entire shrub, providing a carpet of colour throughout the Spring and delighting with their beauty and vigour.