Royal azalea

Rho­dodendron schlippenbachii

Photo/Illustration: 
Chris Curless
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Royal azalea (Rho­dodendron schlippenbachii)
roe-doe-DEN-dron shlip-pen-BOK-ee-eye
Genus:  Rhododendron
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 Characteristics:  Good fall color if grown in sun and moist soil.
Care:  Rhododendrons 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.
Propagation:  Surface-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.
Problems:  Vine weevil, whiteflies, leafhoppers, lacebugs, scale insects, caterpillars, aphids, powdery mildew, bud blast, rust, leafy gall, petal blight, Phytophthora root rot, lime-induced chlorosis.

Overview

Height
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Fragrant Flowers,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Spring
Flower Color
Pink Flower,
White Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Woodland Garden
Style
Cottage Garden,
Shade
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Shrubs

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