Plant of the Month: Encore Azalea
Encore Azaleas are the #1 best-selling reblooming azaleas for good reason. They’re hardy and require less pruning, and they repeat blooms for three seasons! Resistant to pests and disease, these resilient plants work well in full sun to partial shade, making them perfect for Gainesville landscape design.
In the early 1980s, Encore azaleas were hybridized and then patented. They require a bit of care, but they provide beautiful color year-round– flowering in spring, summer, and fall. Typically 2-3 or 4-5 feet tall, these shrubs bloom, bursting into a variety of colors a few weeks out of the year, then leave the rest of the time for the bright green foliage to shine.
Encores are perfect for Florida because they don’t do well at all in full shade, but love the sun. They tolerate full sunlight, needing at least four to six hours of it a day, but they need to be looked after so they aren’t exposed to drought or stress conditions. Because they want the sun without the stress, these plants need lots of water and proper drainage. During hot months, they should be watered daily, especially for the first year.
These shrubs should be planted the same width apart from each other as the dimensions of the plants when they’re mature. Azaleas can be hungry plants, so look for a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer. You can also use compost as a natural supplement. Figuring out fertilizer can be tricky at times. There are different options, and each lawn is different, so just ask your local landscape experts at LawnMore if you want suggestions!
As far as pruning goes, Encore azaleas don’t need much. They’re more compact and neat, smaller in shape and size. The best time to prune is right after the end of the spring bloom– if you wait too long, you might clip off the next bloom cycle’s flower buds! While it isn’t required, light pruning helps increase growth and flowering in established Encores.
For more tips on planting and care, see here.
Looking to incorporate these hardy, beautiful shrubs in your yard? Contact the friendly professionals at LawnMore for more on installation and maintenance.