Which Azaleas to plant: Deciduous or Non-deciduous?

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Which Azaleas to plant: Deciduous or Non-deciduous?

Postby vasummer » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:14 pm

I've been gardening for years, but never planted Azaleas. Now I have an opportunity to try them. I'm in Zone 7 sw of Charlottesville, VA. I know very little about these shrubs other than they prefer shade at least part of the day. I don't know whether the deciduous or non-deciduous are easier to grow. Which are more trouble-free?

I have a north facing wall with no trees casting any shade on the new planting space. The space is 5 feet by 14 feet, with windows starting five feet from the ground. In the summer, it gets sun from about 12 noon till the sun sets. Is this too much sun?

I'm getting up in years and have been weaning out plants that require a lot of attention. I understand Azaleas are pretty trouble free, but don't like to go dry. I need to keep the size down also. No more than 5 feet in width for my space. Height could be up to five feet. A deep pink would be nice, and if you have any suggestions, I'd sure appreciate names. At this point, any information is good, so thanks for your help.
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:45 pm
Location: Zone 7b Central Virginia

Re: Which Azaleas to plant: Deciduous or Non-deciduous?

Postby lorijones » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:20 pm

It sounds like this area is getting full afternoon sun. This may be too much sun for most azaleas but there are some that are more sun tolerant. You will have to amend the soil as you described in your other post but once they become established, they are fairly maintenance-free other than fertilizing once or twice a year with Espoma Holly-tone and light pruning after blooming if necessary to keep them in bounds. Here is a great website that gives suggestions of rhododendrons and azaleas for full sun locations. It gives photos as well as descriptions: http://www.rhodyman.net/rhodynsh.php#anchorSUN. According to this site, the deciduous azaleas are more sum tolerant. We have both deciduous and evergreen azaleas at our house and they are both very maintenance-free and beautiful.

Other shrubs to consider are:
    Weigela spp. - Choose a more compact variety
    Viburnum - there are some very fragrant viburnums that are more compact
    Hydrangea macrophylla varieties - Endless Summer series blooms most of the summer. Most of these grow only 4-5 feet tall.
    Potentilla fruticosa - easy to grow
    Spiraea japonica - very easy to grow
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