Would love some expert help on choosing between azalea varieties!

cali_gardener(Sunset 24)May 24, 2006

I'm selecting plants to fill in some long planters on either side of our new patio. On the bottom terrace, there will be spreads of Spotted Ligularia (leopard plant)like this http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com/foliage-plants/ligularia.html

and along the upper terrace, I'd like to plant azaleas. I was looking for a deep purple one, but can't find any available locally.

I'm trying to decide between Happy Days, Formosa (Phoenicia), and the George Taber (which I know is not purple, but more orchid-pink-white). I'm near Rainbow Azalea Growers, so I'll probably be going there for the plants.

I'd like something with nice foliage and striking flowers, and something that would work with the yellow-spotted ligularia that will be planted below it.

I'm in coastal Southern california, and the azaleas will be in part to full sun, and usually shade plants will even do well in the full sun here on the coast.

Any suggestions for me? Thanks! We don't see azaleas much out here like you might in the south (our soil is more alkaline), so any input is appreciated.

Deana

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Just a couple words of caution. Azaleas bloom about 2 weeks of the year. The rest of the year they are green bushes. Exceptions to this will be the Encore azalea varieties. Encore Azaleas flower in the fall and spring and have been known to have a prolonged flowering periond. I have no experience with this group. Encore azaleas became commercially available in 1997. They are very popular in the South.

They don't have any outlets on the West Coast. They have a mailorder store at: PDSI Encore Azaleas by Mailorder

Here is a link that might be useful: Encore Azaleas

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 11:01AM
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