Established flame azaleas benefit from application of an acid-based fertilizer specifically formulated for azaleas and rhododendrons every spring. Rhododendron calendulaceum is native to the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States, ranging from southern New York to northern Georgia. This low-maintenance, fast-growing plant tops out around 5 feet tall and 7 feet wide at maturity and is a heavy bloomer when in the right conditions. Alternatively, you can also lower soil pH by incorporating a sulfur product according to label directions. Semi-hardwood cuttings, Grafting, Layering . Flame Azalea Facts Perhaps most notably, the mesmerizing Flame Azalea stands out from the majority of related species for its exquisite beauty. Flame azalea is a versatile shrub that is stunning in almost any setting. It is native primarily to woodland slopes and mountain balds in the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia. The showy shrub is especially dramatic when several are planted together, but be sure to allow at least 4 to 6 feet between each plant. Proper watering, adequate air circulation and a neat, tidy garden help prevent moisture-related diseases. Grow in moist, fertile, humus-rich acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5) in dappled shade. Propagation. Most gardeners consider the azalea shrub as an easy plant to grow, if located in the most suitable environment. If your soil is alkaline, amend the soil generously with highly acidic organic matter such as peat moss or composted pine bark. Flame azaleas require very low maintenance, but do need some attention. Flame Azalea Planting and Care As with many members of the Heath (Ericae) Family, azaleas are relatively low-growing shrubs with shallow-growing, fibrous roots known as understory plants in the woodland canopy. Care Prefers full sun but may need shade in the South. Regarded as one of the most gorgeous American shrubs, Rhododendron calendulaceum, also known as the Flame Azalea, is certainly one of the most spectacular native shrubs with its very showy flowers. Rhododendron calendulaceum, commonly known as flame azalea, is an upright, loosely branched deciduous shrub that typically matures to 4-8' (infrequently to 10-15’) tall and to 8-10’ wide. Don't apply fertilizer after July 1; fertilizing late in the season makes the plant more susceptible to winter damage. Azaleas can be divided into two recognizable groups, the evergreen azalea and the deciduous azalea, which drops all of its leaves in the fall during cold weather. Propagation methods. Flame azalea prefers acid soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing. Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT today or login to receive detailed monthly care instructions. Apply the fertilizer according to rate recommendations provided by the manufacturer. A little good advice goes a long way when it comes to success with growing the beautiful deciduous rhododendrons, commonly called native azaleas by many gardeners. Posted by Brent Wilson on 8/18/2016 to Fertilizing & Watering Tips. A showy, deciduous shrub, flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) is native to the Appalachian Mountain region. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. This plant should get at least one inch of water per week, but be sure not to overwater for this will cause root rot. Rhododendron calendulaceum, commonly known as flame azalea, is an upright, loosely branched deciduous shrub that typically matures to 4-8' (infrequently to 10-15’) tall and to 8-10’ wide. Although azaleas are generally free of pests and diseases with proper azalea care, common azalea diseases and problems do exist. If the plant is bothered by pests such as lace bugs, scales or spider mites, spray the shrub with insecticidal soap spray. CARE. That occurs partly due to its famous, among Nature lovers, wonderful large, showy, funnel-shaped flowers. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. Watering at the base of the plant with a garden hose or soaker is best, because this azalea is susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases in humid conditions. Insects that can affect azaleas include lace bugs and spider mites. Flame azalea performs best in light to moderate shade or filtered sunlight. Well-suited to mass plantings in natural woodland settings, Florida flame azalea makes a traffic-stopping showing whenever it is in full bloom. To determine your soil pH, use a testing kit available at most garden centers. Pruning group 8. After planting in an appropriate area, providing water for the first year of growth is vital to the plant’s development. Flame azalea is suitable for growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5a through 8a. Plant shallow, as plants are surface rooted and like a mulch covering. As a rule, flame azaleas require no pruning. The Flame Azalea Shrubs Are Easy Plants to Grow in Shade. This is why well-draining soil is so important. Water flame azalea generously when the top of the soil feels slightly dry, wetting the soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Repeat regularly, because the spray kills only on contact. Flame azalea is appropriately named for the clusters of brightly colored, 2-inch blooms that decorate the shrub from late spring to midsummer. How To Plant, Prune, Fertilizer, Water, Grow And Care For Native Azaleas And Deciduous Rhododendrons. It is native primarily to woodland slopes and mountain balds in the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia. wide (7 cm), with buds resembling candle flames (hence the common name). It needs a few hours of direct sun. Flame azalea prefers moist soil but never soggy, waterlogged soil. Where to grow. The foliage often turns red or soft yellow before leaves drop from the plant in late autumn. National Gardening Association: Rhododendron Calendulaceum, Clemson University Extension: Azalea Planting, Utah State University Cooperative Extension: Solutions to Soil Problems, Cornell University Cooperative Extension: Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons. It grows in mixed deciduous forests at elevations of 200-1000 m above sea level. Will not come true to type from seed. Sometimes slightly scented, the blooms are larger than most other natives, up to 3 in. Common Azalea Diseases & Pests. Deadhead regularly if practical. These truly sets the variety apart. The best time to plant azaleas is early spring or fall, before frost. Propagation Root semi-ripe cuttings in late summer or autumn. Avoid overhead watering, and keep the foliage as dry as possible. Amazingly, however, these incredible flowers conceal a few remarkable secrets. Florida flame azalea is well-noted for its vivid display of yellow-orange, slightly fragrant, clustered blooms appearing in spring before the new leaves emerge. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor. General care Pruning. M.H. Noted for its incredibly brilliant golden blossoms and lovely fragrance in spring, Rhododendron austrinum, commonly known as Florida Flame Azalea, is a spectacular deciduous Azalea. The funnel-shaped flowers range in color from yellow to orange and deep red. However, you can prune the shrub after flowering to maintain a desired size or to remove dead or damaged growth. Lace bugs are more likely to target shrubs that are grown in areas of full sun. A showy, deciduous shrub, flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) is native to the Appalachian Mountain region. Organic matter also improves soil drainage, which is critical for successfully growing flame azaleas.

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