Azalea: April Colour
Azaleas flower abundantly in many different colours. They are not very fussy and the Japanese azaleas in particular do not take up too much space, making them very suitable for small gardens.
Azalea belongs to the genus Rhododendron, but everyone, professionals as well as amateurs call them azalea. Azaleas can be divided into 2 groups: deciduous azaleas and non-deciduous azaleas. The latter are Japanese azaleas. It has been said that deciduous azaleas are more hardy then the non-deciduous ones, but this really is not the case. Japanese azaleas too are hardy and can withstand winters with minimum temperatures of about -15°C.
Strong plants with lots of fragrant flowers.
The best-known deciduous azaleas are Knap Hill-Exbury, Mollis and the Occidentalis, Pontica and Rustica hybrids. They are strong and healthy plants with large funnel-shaped flowers. They are disease free and increasing stock is relatively easy. Although everyone knows the old-fashioned ones when it comes to buying, most people go for the Knap hill-Exbury or the Viscosa and Occidentalis hybrids because of their wonderfully fragrant flowers.
The non-deciduous Japanese are also very popular as they produce an ever-expanding cloud of flowers. Besides the azalea shrubs the Japanese azalea is also available as standard. These small trees are very decorative for the garden as well as in a pot on the patio and patio.
The ideal spot
Azaleas, the deciduous ones in particular, prefer half-shady spots, also because the ground is moist there. However, the shadier the location the less abundantly the plant will flower. The non-deciduous, Japanese azalea are also happy in half-shade but do very well in full sunlight too. The foliage of this shrub is small and will therefore evaporate less moisture in full sunlight than the larger leafed Mollis or Viscosa for instance.
The flowering periods
Japanese Azaleas flower, depending on the weather, from early April to mid-June. Mollis azaleas usually start flowering in early May, but with low spring temperatures this can be a few weeks later. Knap Hill-Exbury azaleas flower somewhat later than the Mollis varieties. The flowers of the different hybrids appear between the second half of May end the end of June.
Azalea in combination with...
Azaleas combine really well with rhododendron hybrids. You can create some fantastic colour combinations. If you have enough space you can grow a garden rhododendron. These grow up to about 1.5 m. Japanese maple as well as many types of fern or Japanese flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata) harmonize well with azaleas. Cyclamen (tubers), primula and anemone blanda next to azaleas have a very cheerful effect.