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late season sale encore azaleas

Posted by cindi_in_ks z6 KS 67232 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 4, 08 at 15:52

Last year, i paid full price for 3 gallon encore azaleas and they didn't make it. Don't know if the winter killed them or the late fall heat. This year I swore I wasn't buying them until I saw someone locally growing them. Well today I found them on sale sooooo cheap I couldn't resist. I bought 9 or 10 of them, several different names, all Encore, and all healthy looking. They are in 1 and 2 gallon pots.
We don't normally get long lasting freezes until late in December, but our winter killer is usually the freeze-thaw cycles. I'm trying to figure out the best place to plant these so I don't have to winter them over in pots. I have every possible exposure, and some dry windy spots, dry protected spots, shady in summer, not in winter, etc. What is best? My soil is alkaline, so I will have to amend whatever place I choose. Many of the plants that don't make it, die because of the drying winds we have year round. My rhodies, pieris and hydrangeas all struggle here too. I'm zone 6/7.
Appreciate any suggestions!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: late season sale encore azaleas

A pot perhaps? Encores do well in Zones 7-9 but Zone 6 is not recommended in their website. If you grow them in pots, you could bring them into a garage during the winter... although I would hate to have to store an evergreen plant there (they are evergreen in my zone).

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Zones For Encore Azaleas

RE: late season sale encore azaleas

A cold hardiness study was recently conducted by the University of Tennessee on the cold hardiness of Encore Azaleas in zones 6A and 6B. I will post the link below, but also a little excerpt from the study.

"Five varieties (Autumn Amethyst™, Autumn Cheer™, Autumn Royalty™, and Autumn
Ruby™ and Autumn Twist™) consistently exhibited solid cold hardiness throughout
Zone 6A.
Autumn Sangria and Autumn Sweetheart showed success in protected locations in
Zone 6A.
In Zone 6B, 18 varieties consistently exhibited solid cold hardiness: Autumn
Amethyst™, Autumn Angel™, Autumn Carnation™, Autumn Carnival™, Autumn Cheer™, Autumn Chiffon™, Autumn Debutante™, Autumn Embers™, Autumn Empress™, Autumn Monarch™, Autumn Princess™, Autumn Rouge™, Autumn Royalty™, Autumn Ruby™, Autumn Sangria™, Autumn Sunset™, Autumn Sweetheart™, Autumn Twist™ (Autumn Belle™, Autumn Moonlight™, Autumn Sundance™ were not trialed.)
For best results in Zones 6B and colder, gardeners should plant in spring or early summer. In zones 7-9, Encore Azaleas also benefit from fall and late summer planting schedules."

Here is a link that might be useful: Encore Azalea Cold Hardiness study

RE: late season sale encore azaleas

Dr. Windham's study on the cold hardiness of Encore Azaleas was in LaFollette and Crossville, Tennessee. Cold hardiness studies just refer to the hardiness of the flower buds, and do not reflect on the extended blooming season that Encore Azaleas are touted for. In more northern climates which are in zones 6A and 6B, the comments I have heard are that the blooming period is more normal (spring only) and the extended blooming season is not observed very often. Actually cold hardiness only affects the early blooms. The later blooms are on new wood, and, when they occur, they are not subject to any hardiness problems. However, apparently they don't occur in northern climates, but that is not a hardiness problem for flower buds, but a length of day or summer heat dependance.

RE: late season sale encore azaleas

I live in SE kansas, zone 6b.

I have had 2 autumn royalty encore azaleas and 2 autumn sweetheart azaleas for about 2 years. The sweethearts bloom in spring but never in fall, and the royalty blooms NEVER in spring and for a VERY VERY long time in fall.

They need more sun here than other azaleas. Actually i used to have them in with the other azaleas and rhodies in the fern and woodland beds I have and until i moved them they NEVER bloomed.

Some research I saw somewhere said they needed at least 3 hours of full sun to bloom, which seems to make sense because mine started blooming only after I moved them. You do need to make sure they stayed watered though, thru the july/august dry period. Mulch really well, as with all other azaleas and give some acid, which our clayish soil usually lacks.


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