Right amount of shade for Girards Pleasant White?

nycynthias(Z6 NY)March 24, 2009

Hi all, this is my first foray into attempting azaleas so please excuse me if this is a super-dumb question. I impulse-bought some Girards Pleasant White azaleas this week while I meant to only get a new shovel & wheelbarrow! Oops.

I'm so azalea-ignorant I didn't even realize that 1) there were evergreen azaleas (as opposed to rhodos), and 2) azaleas would live happily here in Z6 NY.

So anyway--now that I have these little plants I want to make them happy. I know they would prefer "part shade" but how shady exactly? I have open spots for them all over the north side of my house, ranging from pretty much full shade to 1/2 shade/bright shade. What amount of light would make them the happiest?

Or, alternately, should I use them as understory to some humongous mature (8' tall) Pieris Japonica we just moved away from the house's foundations? The Pieris are now in an area that's going to get filtered sun in the summer--a good bit more than the foundation areas where I'd originally intended to use the azaleas.

Thanks in advance!

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Azaleas need good drainage and acidic soil. Usually near a foundation the pH is a little alkaline from the cement in the foundation.

They like partial shade. To much sun can cause problems with lace bugs, and too much shade will give you nice green plants with no flowers. So partial shade is best. 1/2 sun and 1/2 shade is ideal. They could take a little more shade if necessary.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to grow azaleas.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 5:27PM
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nycynthias, I have about half a dozen of these Girard's Pleasant White azaleas in various spots around the garden. They have flourished here in different amounts of shade, just as the previous poster indicated, from half & half to pretty deep shade most of the day.

Girard's Pleasant White tends to have a spreading habit -- growing wider than tall, layered rather than compact -- so it looks more natural as a landscape shrub than as a clipped foundation plant. That's another reason (besides the pH that was mentioned) that you might want to keep these azaleas a little farther away from the house.

The Pleasant Whites have been very hardy and problem free for me, so you should have a good choice for your first foray into growing azaleas.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 2:01AM
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