Please help a newbie!

gracie01(z5 IL)May 8, 2006

I have full size yews growing on the north side of my house. Want to extend the area out and plant something pretty in front of it. The area in front of it gets dappled afternoon & evening sun. I really would like azaleas or rhododendrons. Can anyone tell me which is easier to grow? And which would you think would look better in front of yews? I went to the nursery today to look. It appears that azaleas have smaller leaves; is that true? And also smaller flowers? Thanks for any help; I've never grown either of these before.

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waplummer(Z5 NY)

How tall and broad are your Yews? I would think the large-leaved Rhodies would complement the Yews better than either the small-leaved rhodies or azaleas. Their ten year size would be of the order of 6-8 feet. Personally I would be tempted to take the Yews out.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 9:45PM
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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

All azaleas are rhododendrons and there are small leaved and large leafed rhododendrons. There's really no difference in ease of growth between azaleas and rhododendrons. The differences, rather, have to do with the specific varieties, especially in Z5. So, plant what appeals to you, but check with the nursery about your specific site and see what they suggest.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 6:17AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

In Illinois you will be best off with cold hardy deciduous azaleas or cold hardy rhododendrons. Evergreen azaleas would take a while to get started. The young evergreen azaleas have not reached their full hardiness.

I am going to refer you to a Minnesota site and the plants they recommend. It is an excellent site. You are in the fringe as far as raising rhododendrons and azaleas, so you need ones that are hardy in your area. The ones on the Minnesota list should do very well for you. Good luck.

Minnesota Extension Service

University of Illinois Extension

Rhododendrons and Azaleas for the Midwest (ARS)

How to Grow Rhododendrons and Azaleas

Here is a link that might be useful: Azaleas and Rhododendrons for Minnesota

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:53AM
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gracie01(z5 IL)

Thank you all for your help. I didn't realize that there were so many kinds, and that azaleas & rhod.'s are the same. Also thank you for the Minn. sites.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 7:24PM
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