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northern hearty azalea

Posted by davidfromdetroit (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 16, 11 at 13:28

I have learned from a previous post that the thawing and freezing of sap in my azaleas splits the bark, peels the bark, and kills my trees. I also am gathering that certain types of azaleas are more resistant to that type of harm than others.

Can anyone recommend an azalea that has smaller leaves and smaller flowers (good for bonsai) that is more hearty to our northern climes here in the Detroit area?

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RE: northern hearty azalea

Extremely hardy azaleas are unusual. Here are the hardy dwarf azaleas.

Hino-red, -20F. Flower openly funnel-shaped, 1.5" across, moderate red. Inflorescence 3-flowered. Leaves to 1.5" long, mid green. Spreading, dense habit. Grows twice as wide as tall. Grows twice as wide as tall. 1 ft tall in 10 years.

Hino-white, -20F. Flower single, 1.5" to 2" across, white, unmarked. Inflorescence 3-flowered. Leaves 1⅛" to 1.5" long, olive green. Spreading, dense habit. Grows twice as wide as tall. 1 ft tall in 10 years.

Bixby, -20F. Flower openly funnel-shaped, wavy edges, 1.5" across, red, unmarked. Flatted dome-shaped inflorescence with 3 flowers. Leaves obovate, mucronate apex, cuneate base, 1.5" long, concave, bullate, retained for 2 years. Dense, compact growth habit. 2 ft tall in 10 years.

Helen Curtis, -20F. Flower widely funnel-shaped, frilly, about 2.5" across, semi-double, white, unmarked. Inflorescence 2-3 flowered. Leaves broadly elliptic, acute apex, rounded base, 1.5" long, glossy, yellow-green, retained for 2 years. Upright, rounded habit. 2 ft tall in 10 years.

Marie's Choice, -20F. Flower openly funnel-shaped, frilly-edges, 3" across, fragrant, white, unmarked. Inflorescence 2-3 flowered. Leaves near elliptic to near narrowly obovate, convex, mucronate apex, cuneate base, glossy, yellow green, 1 3/4" long, retained 2 years. Upright, broad habit. 2 ft tall in 10 years.

The following are species, but they are only hardy to Zone 6, -10F.

R. kiusianum (dwarf azalea) and R. nakaharai (dwarf azalea) are both dwarf azaleas.

R. kiusianum blooms while still young, bearing white, pink, rose or purple flowers 1 to 1 1/2 inches across. The shiny 1-inch leaves sometimes turn red in winter. This open, twiggy plant grows slowly to 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

R. nakaharai forms a low dense mound that seems to grow flatter as it matures, since its ultimate height is 6 to 9 inches, while its spread is 12 to 15 inches. The small, shiny leaves, 2 inches long, are hairy on the undersides. The 3-inch pink, salmon or red flowers are saucer shaped and, unlike most azaleas, open in midsummer.

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