Does anyone successfully grow Northern Lights Azalea?

redpeonyNovember 4, 2007

This year I planted a golden lights azalea, one of the northern lights group. I was wondering if any one in a cold zone like myself, has had an success growing this type of plant. I did post on the azalea forum to get some advice on the best ways to winter protect, so I think I know what I am going to try. Am I correct in thinking that I need to wait until the daytime temperatures stay below freezing before I bundle up my zone 4 plants for the winter? I did already put up the chicken wire cages, but now I am waiting to put in some cardboard to block the wind, and then fill it up with shredded leaves. It was suggested to me to make a type of lid with a slope so the snow doesn't pack the leaves down too much - but still keep good air circulation.

Does any one else have any suggestions?


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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

My daughter gave me one a few years ago. I tried every trick and tip there was but it still didn't make it through the winter. Sorry!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 10:25PM
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I "shovel pruned" mine this spring. I pruchased two Northern Lights Lemon a couple of years ago and although they didn't die, they had a few flowers on the bottom in the spring and then that was it. Not enough show for the space in the flower beds. Of course, I didn't do anything to protect them from the winter but I figure we've got enough hardy plants that will put on a better show and by the fall, I'm not in the mood for fussing

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 1:48PM
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Years back, I had grown several varieties of the Northern Light series. The brief season of bloom simpply was not worth all the effort of having to protect them through the winter!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 9:36PM
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In Edmonton, I grew one for several years and although it stayed alive, it didn't do much more than that. I think it only bloomed the spring after I planted it, and only with a few flowers. I wasn't growing it for the foliage, so I chopped it out after a few years. I didn't give mine any winter protection, so I would say you are definitely on the right track giving it a snug bed for the winter.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 1:53PM
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Laurie_z3_MB(sw MB)

I've had White Lights for several years, and it's still only about a foot, or a touch taller. Rosy Lights, I've had for 2 winters now. We get good snow cover here, and I shovel extra on top of them as well. In Calgary, however, you're smart to give them a good covering. One spring, about 2 or 3 years ago, White Lights did wow me with blooms all over, but it hasn't repeated that again. I may have to try moving it to a better location with less competition. Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 4:14PM
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luv2gro(z3a AB)

Tried 2 here in Edmonton and both made it through the winter but couldn't survive the spring frosts. I've given up. That's just a bit too touchy for me. Although they can be pretty, I also decided that they just aren't worth the effort for the amount of space they take.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 4:23PM
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So to update how I have protected my azalea. I put some shredded leaves in the cage, but then I used bags of leaves around the outside of the plant, and one over the top. I read about people doing this on the hydrangea forum - so I thought I would give it a try. Unfortunately, I could probably have used even more bags of leaves, but I didn't have anymore to use. I will post again in spring and let everyone know how things went. If this doesn't work though, it will be replaced with something else.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:41PM
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I've grown several Northern Lights azaleas for over 10 years. They are very slow growing but bloom every year. Besides provided an acid based growing medium by adding a high amount of peat moss and soil prep (made from composted bark) when planting them, I make sure and water them good before the ground freezes, and add a huge amount of mulch from fallen leaves. Other than this, I don't cover them or do anything more. In our arid climate, they grow best in filtered sunlight, and must have a good mulch during the summer.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 11:22AM
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