Think of your yard as a blank canvas just waiting for your inner artist to come out and play. You want gorgeous green foliage all year round to keep your garden lush and lively, but spring through fall, color is king.
Azaleas, bushes in the genus Rhododendron, are among the most popular flowering shrubs. Traditional azaleas decorate your garden with showy spring blossoms in a variety of colors. They are not too demanding, they grow well and look good in a variety of placements, making them endlessly useful in the backyard. You’ll find both evergreen and deciduous varieties available in commerce and both have advantages, but nothing beats the year-round greenery provided by evergreen foliage. Still, many gardeners wish the brilliant spring show provided by azaleas could last longer. It can, with Encore Azaleas. These multi-season blooming azaleas bloom in spring, summer and fall.
With over 30 stunning shades, you’re certain to find plenty of color for the landscape and every one of the Encore Azalea varieties is evergreen too. For instance, it’s normally hard to find evergreen azaleas in shades of orange (but they are out there if you look for them). Autumn Sunburst (from Encore Azaleas) overflows with blooms of coral and white ruffled flowers. Or go for showy Autumn Monarch, a vibrant shrub growing to five feet tall with light foliage and flowers in shades of orange-pink, sprinkled with red.
Picking azaleas that fit your climate, conditions and garden site has never been easier. These super-azaleas are easy to grow and fit most sites. You’ll even find cold-hardy azaleas in this group that thrive down to zone 6, dwarf azaleas that top out at 3 feet or under, and others that shoot up almost as tall as you are. One issue gardeners have had with traditional azaleas is the shrub’s inability to accept direct sunlight. Planting traditional azaleas in full sun is not recommended. They do best when planted in what is known as “high shade,” under the dappled shade of taller trees. A few traditional azalea species can thrive in sun or partial shade, making them more adaptable. That’s another plus of Encore Azaleas: all of the 30 varieties thrive in both full sun and part shade. You can light up your entire yard with their soft glow.
When can you expect your azalea banks to burst into flower? Most azalea varieties bloom for a week or two in mid-April to mid-May, with a few varieties blooming a bit earlier or later. In warmer climates, like the Deep South, a handful of azalea varieties may even bloom again in the fall. Encore Azaleas have been bred with this same reblooming trait for reliable fall blooming in colder regions too. In fact, most Encore Azaleas flower during the entire growing season, blooming profusely in spring, summer and fall. Some – like Autumn Carnation and Autumn Empress – offer a show in winter too, since their foliage turns bronze once flowering ends.
As you can see, azalea shrubs have come a long way. Gone are the days of fleeting spring blooms in whites, purples and reds. Now, with Encore Azaleas in the landscape, you can have so much more for longer periods.