January Plant of the Month
Pop! Who couldn’t use a vibrant pop of color in dreary January? Encore Azaleas feel ya. They are spring, summer and fall bloomers, but we still have a few straggler blooms on our plants at the moment.
Encore Azaleas are small-medium evergreen shrubs that were developed in the 1980’s. This variety was bred to produce a spectacular show of bright blooms not only in spring but to repeat bloom again in summer and fall.
Depending on the variety, these can range in size anywhere from 3 to 5 feet in height and width. Encore Azaleas come in an assortment of beautiful colors including white, pink, coral, purple, red and even some combinations of those! These beauties also tolerate more sun than other azaleas, although they do still need some relief from the hot afternoon sun here in the summer.
How and Where to Grow
Some say that azaleas can be difficult to grow. While they do have a few growing requirements, with a little planning, you too can grow azaleas! Encore Azaleas prefer acidic, moist, yet well drained soil. This is why you see them all over East Texas. Lucky dogs. Their soil is just right. Here in San Antonio, you will most likely need to amend your soil with lots of good organic material. Try a mixture of peat moss and pine bark mulch to work into the soil. Or you could make it super easy and grow them in containers with a ready made mix.
Plant an Encore Azalea as a single specimen or for the dramatic, in big groups! Keeping like colors close together can create a big impact. Combine them with other shade lovers like hydrangea or viburnum. We have a few Encore Azaleas available now at The Garden Center, with more colors to come in spring. If you can’t wait that long, come on in and grab your pop of color!