azalea thoughts?

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Any ideas about azaleas? We have a bright pink one which was here when we bought the house 20 years ago. We "prune" it every so often by hacking it back. There is really nothing wrong with it and I am sure a thoughtful conscientious person would do a better job pruning. I just don't like the color. It is a loud hot pink. You might call it "glowing" if you liked the color.

I'm mostly sticking with blue/purple and pale pink/orange (and white) and this color strikes me as jarring. I like the smaller-leaved shrubs like azalea, though. The idea of taking this one out is daunting, and it feels like cruelty to unarmed plants, but every May, I am hating the color. I love the low maintainence of this shrub and the way it ignores me and just keeps on doing its thing. I just wish it were a softer, paler oranger pink.

Thomaston, CT

I like the bright azalea colors......the really good part is the blossoms don't last that long! Just kidding!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hmmph, I was afraid of that, that people would say "you are so lucky to have a healthy, sturdy azalea with bright flowers! Why would you ever want to get rid of it? Learn to love it!" I've been looking at 'Mandarin Lights', Flame Azalea and the Encore Azalea series. Maybe I'll try to take out one of the ho-hum evergreens (that also grow too big and too fast) and plant another, different azalea instead.

Thomaston, CT

You can always plant a white one to 'cool' down the bright one......

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm with you, Carrie. I have to see the glaringly bright little azalea soldiers elsewhere, and it just doesn't appeal to me. Even the lavender mucrunatum that finally matured gave me color shock while forsythia was anywhere about. I tolerate those clors better later in the season. I'm trying to grow a flame azalea in a shady natural area of my yard and move the mucrunatum to that area too where the color will not overpower. My particular flame azalea is supposed to be seven feet tall and fairly thin (though in shade). I got it from mail order natives, but some of the natives are at Garden in the Woods too. Course we live close enough to visit Weston nurseries for suggestions from their huge commercial inventory. Girard's white( I think) seems to bloom in early June. I wish I had more of them. Northern high lights has a nice yellow throat on a white blossom, but the plants are too young to evaluate.

Classified more as a small leaf rhodendron, I like Mary Fleming because the small peachy-yellow blossoms seem to blend with everything around them and it is evergreen.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm really liking the "orange" Encore azaleas, but I see them online, and not in real life. However it turns out we have other, softer, less neon colors which bloom slightly later. (We haven't been here in spring for three years and I forgot. How embarrassing!) So I guess I can wait a week every spring for the others to bloom too.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

It's amazing how memory can change an idea of what's in a place. Only now after many years living on this property do i feel i know what to do with it that ought to be pleasing (we'll see).

North Chelmsford, MA(Zone 6b)

I love Exbury (deciduous) hybrids and once had a yellow-orange one. They're still sold at Lowe's.
In this location I have three 'Olga Mezitt' azaleas. Our condo complex has many PJM's. Mezitt hybrids were bred here in New England and are hardy. They don't like to be dried out.
If I had a low place I'd plant swamp azaleas--the scent is glorious!
I also have a 'Nacoochee' (deciduous) hybrid. Its scent is faint but the pale pink color is pleasant,
I even have a double evergreen that's survived! I like the early azaleas because they furnish a counterpoint to all those yellow spring bulbs.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

That sounds lovely, quiltjean. I am so over yellow by the end of March!
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/4967
I will look up 'Olga Mezitt'! Thanks. I love nice smells (and aren't Bridal Wreath Spireas a lovely smell?) and I wasn't aware azaleas came in different smells, or smell and not-smell.

Thomaston, CT

I have had an Exbury....Golden Oriole...for many years. If it can survive on this hill, it can survive pretty much all over......

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I have wanted these azaleas ever since I saw them on a visit to the National Cathedral in Washington, DC back in 2012. This is a Satsuki azalea and the flowers in these 4 pictures are all on one plant! It wasn't very tall, but may have been pruned down as it was next to a sidewalk. I don't care. I want them.
Martha

Thumbnail by gardenmart Thumbnail by gardenmart Thumbnail by gardenmart Thumbnail by gardenmart
Thomaston, CT

Gorgeous.....now you live in an area where you can grow them!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

That IS beautiful, Martha.

Thomaston, CT

The shrubbery around my parents' grave had become very overgrown, so we asked the workers to remove everything.....I just planted a dwarf pink azalea there.....very tiny leaves....hopefully, very compact.....

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Should be lovely.

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I am looking into native florida azaleas or rhododendrons. I want to keep as many things growing here that are from here.
Martha

Thomaston, CT

Good idea......the landscaping on the little house we bought in the Villages was awful....I yanked a lot of stuff out.....planted a few azaleas, but not sure if they were native.....also planted a clump of amaryllis, that I loved......

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I have begun volunteering at Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park. Their legacy garden has a lot of interesting things growing there. I am becoming educated on Florida weeds. lol
Martha

Thomaston, CT

Good for you, Martha. Volunteering is a great way to meet folks & learn about your new home....

East Texas, United States(Zone 8a)

Hi Carrie, late to This discussion. If you're not moving in the foreseeable future, I'd remove. Life's too short to look at something you don't like. Perhaps you could post on CL and offer it in exch for removing. Then take a look at native Rhodies, easy and beautiful.

I got rid of some beautiful sagos that way. But consider the CL option carefully. I've been binging on the Discovery Murder channel and a lot of bad stuff happens via CL...

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi, Vossner! We just got back from a hard weekend of driving in Texas and the azalea in MA is pretty much done. I agree with the life's too short philosophy but I think I will learn to love this particular azalea. We can hack it back almost to the ground and it will take another 5 years to grow back. As soon as the other azaleas start blooming, it is not so dreadfully pink, and the energy and commitment necessary to get rid of it....there is A LOT to do back here, and that is the least of my worries. My long term plan (really long, like when I win the lottery) involves adding a side porch and adding a ramp to that corner of the house, which would necessitate removing that bush anyway.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

check out western nurseries in chelmsford and hopkington for azalea's. PJM and many others were bred by the Metzitt family who own this nursery.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Bill; good advice.

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