The March plant of the month is one that is often overlooked because it is so familiar: the Azalea. A staple of Gainesville landscaping, it is seen all over North Central Florida in our beautiful parks and in many neighborhoods. The Azalea is a favorite world-wide because of its hearty nature and beauty.
This flowering shrub produces delicate, funnel shaped flowers with exposed pistons. It’s a member of the rhododendron family that thrives all over the South. One of the most notable features of the Azalea is the huge variety of colors available in different cultivars. There are single colored blooms in white, purple, red, and a range of pinks; from pale blush to vivid fuschia. Some Azaleas have flowers that are orange, pink, or purple on the exterior of the bloom and fade in to white toward the pistons. You can even find Azaleas in a variety of sizes; from large Cary Isles with bright yellow flowers, to smaller dwarf varieties like the Autumn cheer. These sturdy shrubs offer a glorious burst of color with flowers of different shapes and sizes to add visual interest to your yard.
To maximize the amount of time you have blooms, plant several different types. They’ll bloom at different times, providing long-lasting color to your landscaping throughout the year. There are Azaleas that bloom in the spring, but there are also cultivars that will bring color to your landscaping well into the Fall.
Caring for your Azaleas is key to maintaining their beauty. It is best to trim your Azaleas to the shape you like after the blooms have fallen off. Take care to prune just as the flowers are shriveling and discolored. If you prune too late in the Summer or throughout the Fall and Winter, you will remove the buds and cause the plant not to flower. You can continue to care for your Azalea throughout the year by applying a light layer of fertilizer each season. With a good pruning and fertilizer routine, you can keep your azaleas blooming Spring after Spring.
Call LawnMore today for an estimate and we’ll help you find the perfect Azalea for your space.