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So Many To Choose From

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  • John Randolph
    [this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC] I am new (very new) to gardening. I have seen some gardens with beautiful Azaleas growing in them. I
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2006
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      [this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC]
       
           I am new (very new) to gardening.  I have seen some gardens with beautiful Azaleas growing in them. I wanted to grow some in my garden last summer but when I went looking I found so many varieties.  I simply do not have any idea of what kind to get.
           Here are the characteristics I am looking for.
      1.   Low growing
      2.   Cold-hardy zone 7
      3.   Some in flower beds of whatever soil is required.
      4.   Some in acidic soil.
      5.   Some in shade.
      6.   Some in full sun.
      7.   Some in partial sun.
           Oh, yes.  I like the color red.
       
      Thank you,
      John Randolph
    • Barry Sperling
      Hi, I ll let others cover details better, but items 3 and 6 are difficult to match for azaleas, which like acidic soil (5 - 6 pH) and high, dappled shade.
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 1, 2006
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        Hi,
        I'll let others cover details better, but items 3 and 6 are
        difficult to match for azaleas, which like acidic soil (5 - 6 pH) and
        high, dappled shade. Full sun encourages pests, though it is unknown if
        this is because the pests like the sun or their predators don't.
        I prefer reds, too. Coronado (Harris) is the truest red, to my
        eye. I also like Red Ruffles (with a trace of purple in it) and
        Wolfpack Red (Carla) (with a trace of orange in some lights). None of
        them seem to grow very tall very fast.
        Good luck!
        Barry


        John Randolph wrote:

        >[this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC]
        >
        > I am new (very new) to gardening. I have seen some gardens with beautiful Azaleas growing in them. I wanted to grow some in my garden last summer but when I went looking I found so many varieties. I simply do not have any idea of what kind to get.
        > Here are the characteristics I am looking for.
        >1. Low growing
        >2. Cold-hardy zone 7
        >3. Some in flower beds of whatever soil is required.
        >4. Some in acidic soil.
        >5. Some in shade.
        >6. Some in full sun.
        >7. Some in partial sun.
        > Oh, yes. I like the color red.
        >
        >Thank you,
        >John Randolph
        >johnjanerandolph@...
        >
        >
      • William C. Miller III
        Hi John, A significant detail missing from your posting is where you live. While you did say zone 7, West Texas is not the same as Maryland. Your location
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 2, 2006
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          Hi John,

          A significant detail missing from your posting is where you live.  While you did say zone 7, West Texas is not the same as Maryland.  Your location could have a bearing on how people respond to your posting.

          Regarding the characteristics that you were interested in:

           'Flame Creeper' and almost any of Polly Hill's North Tisbury hybrids will be perpetually low growing and most of them are red or sort of red.  You'll need to see them.  By convention, cultivar (CULTI - vated VAR - iety) names are given in single quotes.  If you tell your local nurseryman that you want 'Flame Creeper', the plant that he/she sells you should be the low growing, red selection of Rhododendron indicum that will never get above about 18 inches.  (Note:  all azaleas are members of the rhododendron family).   I would point out that your requirement that they be low growing seriously limits your options.  Since azaleas are easily pruned or cut back, I would urge you to reconsider the low growing requirement.  You could then consider many of the Girard hybrids many of which are red.  'Kobold', a Glenn Dale hybrid is a brownish red.  'Midnight Flare', a Harris hybrid, is a very dark red.  While these are relatively slow growing, they will get pretty big over time.

          Azaleas prefer a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6.0.  As you get outside that range, you run into problems (e.g., chlorosis).  If you can't provide an acid environment, plant something else.

          Azaleas will grow perfectly well in full shade --- they just won't flower.  Azaleas will grow well in full sun.  They will produce a lot of flowers that won't last very long from baking in the hot sun.  Also, a number of the pests do very well when the azalea is growing in a full sun exposure.  So, the optimal arrangement is somewhere between full sun and full shade --- perhaps involving some kind of tall natural canopy of oaks or white pine (most any kind of tall tree) that allows lots of light but filters out much of the heat.  You can tell whether there is too much shade by how well the azaleas bloom --- the more exposure, the more flowers.

          Bill Miller
          Bethesda, Maryland
          www.theazaleaworks.com

          John Randolph wrote:

          [this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC]
           
               I am new (very new) to gardening.  I have seen some gardens with beautiful Azaleas growing in them. I wanted to grow some in my garden last summer but when I went looking I found so many varieties.  I simply do not have any idea of what kind to get.
               Here are the characteristics I am looking for.
          1.   Low growing
          2.   Cold-hardy zone 7
          3.   Some in flower beds of whatever soil is required.
          4.   Some in acidic soil.
          5.   Some in shade.
          6.   Some in full sun.
          7.   Some in partial sun.
               Oh, yes.  I like the color red.
           
          Thank you,
          John Randolph
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