spring-fall blooming azaleas? really?

tonya499(6 UT)September 18, 2005

Do Encore azaleas really keep blooming for most of the spring-fall season? The only azaleas I've seen bloom for about 2 weeks, then look ratty until the spent blooms fall off, then look boring until the next spring. Is there something more? I would love them if it were true. Please tell me it is so. My search for the perfect shrub could be over.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Well, yes and no. They are not constantly blooming; they are repeat bloomers. As you might guess, their best blooming period is in the Spring. Then they take a break as new buds are formed and then bloom again in mid-summer. Then they bloom again in the Fall. The blooms will usually last about two weeks so you still have some time when they are "boring looking".

Be aware that some people have commented that the Encore's Spring Flush is not as good as the Spring Flush from once-bloomers so I would suggest that you visit a nursery and compare. I would also add that their Summer/Fall flushes are not as big and their Spring Flush but, it was good enough and better than none for me so I got a few plants.

If you want continuous blooms in Zone 6, consider some varieties of roses such as Darlow's Enigma, Earthsong, Flirtatious, Honey Perfume, The Fairy- Type of Roses, Heritage, Knockout, Marie Pavie, Mrs. RM Finch, Seafoam etc etc etc. You can find more suggestions by doing a SEARCH for "continuous" in the Roses Forum. Pay special attention to suggestions made by people either in your own state or in your same zone.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 11:08AM
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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

My encores put on a better show in the fall than in the spring.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 7:04PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Encore will bloom more under ideal conditions. I have Embers (red flowers) and they're blooming right now thanks to cooler weather and rain that came through last night. Hot dry summer has been really tough on them even though they're planted on the east side of the house. I've yet to see how they perform in the spring. I got them at 33% discount sale in august for 5 gallon so it was hard to refuse them. So far, i'm satisfied...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 2:01PM
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I have three different Bloom N Again Azaleas, and they
have never had a second flush of blooms. They bloom really well in late Spring after all my other Azaleas are through.
I fertilize them regularly with bloom booster fertilizer, and water them well. They are growing very well. I just don't understand why they have never rebloomed. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 1:41PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Hello, Fernzilla. I am guessing you are in Memphis although your post does not state that. If that is not the case, some of my comments below may be incorrect.

Re-blooming is a complex process that is influenced by many factors. Azaleas planted in the South have a better chance of reblooming that those planted in the North. Selecting varieties that do this naturally or that have been bred to do that is another factor. The weather and environmental factors are other things that help/hinder re-blooming.

Based on your geographical location, the evergreen Bloom N Again Series should grow well in your zone. Based on my experience with Encore's and others, I would expect you to have flushes of different intensities thru the years. But I definitely would not have expected no fall flushes ever at all.

See if any of these items applies in your case:

* you are pruning after the buds have formed; the best time is NEVER or after the last set of blooms have turned brown. You did not mention this so I am hoping this is what is killing the buds.

* insufficient moisture when bud formation is underway. You say that you water well so this may not be an issue in your case.

* too little sun (you would still get a flush but with less blooms)

* lack of "food" (you stated that you fertilize well so this may not be an issue in your case) or

* too much nitrogen in your soil. The Azalea Society of America does not encourage use of fertilizers on azaleas because they are not heavy feeders. Instead they recommend letting the decaying mulch and hummus provide all the nutrients. For more info on this, go to this webpage:

* only low temps could kill ALL of the buds. But not every year. And if it happens, I would expect the problem in the Spring not in the Fall.

Also, have you done a soil test somewhat recently to rule out soil problems?

Did you purchase the plants locally or by mail? You may want to contact the nursery for further suggestions. You can also try to contact the "original" wholeseller nursery at www.bloomnagain.com.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 3:19PM
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Of those Azaleas you mentioned for Zone 6, which would you consider to be fast-growing?
I am also interested in getting some azaleas to replenish my azalea bed.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 12:35PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Fred, Luis was telling you to plant roses in zone 6 for continuous bloom, not azaleas.

Fernzilla 7, as Luis stated, the rebloomers are developed in Mississippi and do better in the deep South. They first bloom on old wood, then grow new shoots and develop buds on this new wood and bloom again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Encore Azaleas

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 4:07PM
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My encore "autumn sunset" bloomed CONTINUOUSLY spring, summer, and fall after I planted it this past spring '06. I was absolutely amazed. But my autumn sangria, autumn carnation, and autumn twist that I planted at the smae time have not bloomed at all yet (under same conditions). So I assume that some encore varieties bloom better than others.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:44AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Encore Azaleas were bred for the South along the gulf coast. Experience in the Mid-Atlantic will vary. Apparently sue141452 found a good one: autumn sunset.

Here is a link that might be useful: Encore Azaleas

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 5:02PM
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I was looking to post a thread about why my spring azaleas are blooming and I thought they were southern indicas. Ultimate Pink and Freckles put more blooms out every day and I stopped feeding them in Aug as directed. I was told to put them in raised beds in late winter because my soil is too alkaline but the azaleas don't seem to know they aren't supposed to like this. I'm enjoying the late color and wondering now if I'll get a spring bloom in addition. Should I fertilize this close to winter? I still have weather in the 70's and 80's, I'm in the central valley of CA and zone 9. How strange.... the rental I was in had similar azaleas and they bloomed in spring before I moved here in July and bought these and planted them..... Leslie

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 2:43PM
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I have Autumn Embers Azaleas and I live in Chattanooga, TN. Last year my azaleas bloomed their hearts out. This year--NO BLOOMS. The plants look healthy with nice green leaves--no blight, no insect infestations. They are watered and each year we put mulch down. Why aren't my azaleas blooming? Already it is mid-July.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 11:35AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Did you prune them? If so you may have removed buds. They do need some sun to form flower buds. Also, if your soil if deficient in phosphorus, a little super phosphate will help, but use very little.

There are creatures that eat the buds like deer, squirrels, etc.

Since it is an Encore, it may skip the spring bloom and start with the summer bloom. The fall bloom is actually the same buds that bloom in spring, so a heavy fall bloom doesn't bode well for a good spring bloom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 11:45AM
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Encore do not do well in the midwest. I read to many posts and blogs how they struggle in zone 5 and some zone 6. I try to warn people in my area not to buy them. I wish Lowe's would stop selling them.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 5:59AM
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