Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Florida azaleas

I love Florida azaleas but they can be a little difficult to place in my garden.

They clash with my pink Piedmont azaleas, as you can see from this picture from 2014.

I had to move that Florida azalea after it declined suddenly, I think because the
neighbor got overzealous (again) with the Roundup again when spraying under the fence line.

When the house was in its original place I planted Florida azaleas in front of it after Hurricane Floyd. Flooding killed the oakleaf hydrangeas I planted there after ripping out the boxwoods the builder put in.

They loved it there and likely would have gotten too big eventually.

I tried them on the east side of the house after the move but that strategy wasn't very successful. Too dry. One Florida azalea remains there, along with some coast azaleas that seem quite happy. This is one of the azaleas that used to be in front of the house; I cut it back so that it would survive the move. It's grown (very) slowly over the past 9 years.

Florida azalea makes a great combination with woodland phlox
and toothwort, especially since both are deliciously fragrant.

The other Florida azaleas I moved to the edge of the woods that wrap around the west side of the house. I put one there years ago when I ran out of places to put them next to the house. Unwittingly I planted it in the perfect place, right next to a spring, and it's been very happy. It's over 6 feet tall now.

Florida azaleas range in color from yellow to cream/orange to bright orange to nearly red. Of course I want all of the colors.

Florida azalea in the mountain section of the NC Botanical Garden.

'Admiral Semmes' in the Coker Arboretum

Florida azalea by the Totten Center at the NC Botanical Garden. I would love to have this azalea
in my garden. It's very very sweetly fragrant and the combination of pastel colors is beautiful.

And then there are the hybrids. 'My Mary' is a soft yellow
pinxterflower/coast x Florida azalea hybrid that Niche sells.

'Choice Cream' is a Florida/coast azalea cross. I love the delicate
coloring and the fragrance has traits of both a Florida and a coast azalea.

I was able to collect a lot of seed from the azalea next to the house and plan on trying them this spring. Azaleas aren't hard to grow from seed as long as the potting medium is light and airy with a good mix of peat moss.


  1. These Florida azaleas look beautiful, especially the ones in the past against the house are fabulous. Glad they do very well now on the wood edge.

  2. They are gorgeous plants! Too bad (for me) that they're also thirsty plants.

  3. So much nicer for the Southeast than the exotic azaleas, IMHO.

    The one of the azaleas back when they were in your front foundation is unreal -- so beautiful!

  4. I adore them! I am drooling at the size of your azaleas! I can't wait for mine to get that big. Every year I buy more. Their fragrance is intoxicating!

  5. Stunningly beautiful! I don't have Azaleas here, but many people do grow them in the area. I remember seeing great swaths of them in Virginia when we visited there. The colors and diversity of yours are fabulous!

  6. These are gorgeous. I especially admire the Totten Center azalea. I have been planting Florida azaleas and other native azaleas in my woodland garden for several years. I love their flowers, as well as the delightful fragrance that many of them have. I learned the hard way the importance of both moisture and well-draining soil. I wish I had a spring in my garden!


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