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Rhododendron, Encore Azalea 'Autumn Empress'


Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhododendron (roh-do-DEN-dron) (Info)
Cultivar: Autumn Empress
Additional cultivar information:(PBR, PT3768 & P12109; Encore Azalea series, aka Conles)
» View all varieties of Azaleas and Rhododendrons




36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Blooms repeatedly




Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Mobile, Alabama (2 reports)

Pensacola, Florida

Shreveport, Louisiana

Katy, Texas

Richmond, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 10, 2014, lalea878 from Mobile, AL wrote:

I live in an old home that is surrounded by invasive old time pink azalea bushes. I literally have to fight them to keep them out of my drive and keep the back yard from closing in. When they get as large as they are in the woods behind my home, they do not bloom well either. I even have a hedge of azaleas along the whole front of my house that will grow so large you cant see my front door if i do not do a serious trim 2-3 times a year. They are a lot of work and have looked in to getting them taken out but the roots go everywhere so too expensive and huge chance they would grow back anyway. So I tried the Encore in May of this year. It didnt do well in full sun most of the day in my front yard/it didnt die but didnt thrive. I moved it to a tire planter in dappled shade because I didn... read more


On Mar 28, 2010, Victorine72 from Richmond, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted this mid-summer last year in a fairly dry area of my garden in a temporary location. I knew I wanted this variety and had to buy it before its intended bed was ready because it was the last Autumn Empress left at my local garden center. I tried to keep it watered in the temp location, but like every other busy summer gardener, I didn't take care of it as well I as I should have. It was wilted more often than it was turgid. I was pretty sure it would be DOA this spring, thanks to the additional stress from the brutal winter we had this year. No matter, though. I transplanted it a few weeks ago and it looks terrific. I wouldn't recommend treating your Autumn Empress as badly as I did last summer, but if you do, the little buggers seem to be rather tolerant of drought and abu... read more


On Jul 8, 2007, brucehenderson from Shreveport, LA wrote:

I have most of the Encores. This one has finer texture, but taller size. Definitely more upright than spreading. A bit slower to get established and 'take off'. Nice pink bloom, medium green foliage.
[ A. Carnival has similar flower and texture, but smaller, more spreading. A. Princess definitely more orange/pink and darker foliage w/ bronze fall color.]


On Jan 19, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

(San Antonio, Tx.)
I have not grown this plant myself, so I must give it a neutral rating. 'Autumn Empress', has an upright, thick growth habit (4 feet tall and 3 feet wide) with large deep, green leaves. It produces semi-double, deep pink 2.25 inch to 2.75 inch in diameter blooms. It starts to bloom a little later in the spring than do most azaleas. These new patented azaleas bloom approximately every three months (early spring, late spring, early summer, late summer, mid to late fall) until the first hard freeze. Some sources state that they bloom all year long.

It requires full sun with afternoon shade or light shade and well drained, slightly acidic rich soil. Shrubs planted after mid-July should not be fertilized until after the last frost. The developers of thi... read more