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The Plant Guide

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Royal azalea

Rho­dodendron schlippenbachii

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Royal azalea has large, fragrant pink blooms in spring. This large-leaved azalea also has purple-hued foliage in spring, turning velvet green in summer, and finally fading to yellow in autumn.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsGood fall color if grown in sun and moist soil.

CareRhododendrons have very specific requirements, including moist, but well-drained, woodsy, acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5). They must be planted shallowly, as they are surface rooted. Temperate climates with adequate rain are best, although azaleas do well in the Southeast as well. Deadhead carefully. Prefers full sun in the northern U.S. and Canada. Mulch annually with a loose material like pine needles, bark, or chopped oak leaves.

PropagationSurface-sow seed at 55° to 64°F in acidic potting mix or peat, as soon as ripe or in early spring. Garden-collected seed may not come true. Root semi-ripe cuttings in late summer of autumn. Layer in autumn. Graft in late winter or late summer.

ProblemsVine weevil, whiteflies, leafhoppers, lacebugs, scale insects, caterpillars, aphids, powdery mildew, bud blast, rust, leafy gall, petal blight, Phytophthora root rot, lime-induced chlorosis.

  • Genus : Rhododendron
  • Plant Height : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink, White
  • Uses : Shade
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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