One of the earliest harbingers of spring, most azaleas in full bloom in March broke the deep south and as late as mid-May in the mid-Atlantic states. The plants are covered with beautiful, delicate flowers in the colors of the rainbow. And then they're gone, so gardeners robbed. In the 1980s, developed by Robert E. Lee Louisiana hybrid azaleas that bloom not only in spring, but set new buds on the ends and spring blooming flowers until fall. The Encore azalea series is patented, so that only licensed growers can propagate the plant. This hardy flowering machines are widely available in garden centers and commercial forest nurseries however.
Characteristics and cultivation
Encore azaleas (Rhododendron Encore hybrid) successfully grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant climate zones 7 to 10 The Encore Azalea website states that some Encore Azaleas can even grow as far north as zone 6. More than two dozen varieties of Encore Azaleas are available in various colors, with single to semi-double blooms. The plant can be planted almost any time with proper site preparation, and Encore Azaleas require little maintenance. Like most azaleas, Encore Azaleas like acidic soil. Water regularly after planting and feed with a fertilizer specially formulated for azaleas, according to package directions.
Small Encore Azalea varieties
Perfect for borders, pots and specimen plantings, small varieties of Encore azalea grow as short as 2 feet tall. Autumn Bravo (Azalea x "Conlen") produced single, bright red flowers with orange undertones and can grow from zones 6b to 9. Autumn Angel (Azalea x "Robleg"), another 3-footer, produces pure white, single flowers. The dark pink centers the fall of chiffon (Azalea x "Robled") single light pink flowers offer a bit of eye candy for every garden. Autumn Princess (Azalea x "Roblea") grows from zones 6b to 9 and has semi-double, salmon-pink flowers. Autumn Cheer (Azalea x "Conlef") has smaller flowers than other varieties, but the plant grows 3 feet tall with a similar spread and is hardy in zones 6 to 9 Encore Azaleas are other small Autumn Ruby (Azalea x "Conler"), with bright red flowers, and the soft pink flowers of autumn Coral (Azalea x "Conled").
Medium Encore Azalea varieties
Autumn Amethyst (Azalea x "Conlee") grows 4 feet tall and wide and produces single, dark pink flowers. Like other mid-sized varieties Autumn Amethyst is suitable for borders, mass plantings and containers or as a specimen plant in the yard. The semi-double, medium pink flowers of Autumn Carnation (Azalea x "Roblec") are slightly disheveled. Other medium pink Encore Azaleas belong Autumn Carnival (Azalea x "Conlet"), medium pink flowers, autumn Debutante (Azalea x "Roblel"), with pale pink flowers, Autumn Embers (Azalea x "Conleb"), with a dark, orange- red, semi-double flowers, autumn Empress (Azalea x "Conles") and Autumn Rouge (Azalea x "Conlea"), both semi-double, dark pink varieties, Autumn Sundance (Azalea x "Roblef"), a dark pink variety, and in the fall Sweetheart Pink (Azalea x "Robleja"), each flower produces white to almost lavender undertones. Autumn Starlite (Azalea x "PROBLEM"), is white with pink spots interesting. Autumn Sunset The semi-double flowers are a bright orange-red. Autumn Sunset (Azalea x "Roblen") grows in zones 6 to 9, as well as Autumn Lilac (Azalea x "Robles"), each produced by light lavender flowers. Medium azaleas grow 3 to 4 feet tall, depending on variety.
Big Encore Azalea varieties
Big Encore azalea varieties grow about 5 feet tall with a 4-foot spread, depending on the variety. Autumn Moonlight (Azalea x "Mootum") and Autumn Twist (Azalea x "Conlep") both produce white flowers, but during Moonlight flowers are semi-double and pure white with yellow throats, the "twist" in the autumn twist that an occasional solid Purple flowers appear among the single, purple-striped white flowers. Autumn Belle (Azalea x "Robleo") has semi-double, pink flowers with magenta freckles. Autumn Royalty (Azalea x "Conlec") and Autumn Sangria (Azalea x "Roblee") have both single, deep pink flowers and grows 4.5 meters. Autumn Monarch grows 5 feet tall and produces semi-double orange-pink flowers with spots of red.