Known at the “Royalty of the Garden,” azaleas are resplendent this spring as the California drought appears to be coming to an end.
Pat Brooks of Fresno, 93, says she’s never seen azaleas bloom like they are this year.
“They have really come alive since all the rain,” she says.
Growing and caring for these shrubs is easy, says Nikki Tiley, author of “The Bulb-olicious Garden.” To keep azaleas looking healthy, it is essential that you choose an appropriate planting location and practice proper azalea care. Azaleas actually look the most attractive when they are planted alone; however, mass plantings work well in larger areas, such as wooded sites, Tiley says
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“Since the flower coverage on azaleas encompasses the entire shrub, placing them in a background of conifers, such as pines, or other acid-loving plants will help set off their colors while minimizing their heavy effect.”
To maintain a more compact appearance or simply to encourage bushier growth, trim azaleas after their blooming period has expired, Tiley says. Taking time to trim azaleas by cutting back the branches of these shrubs will also help renew overgrown plants. Keeping your azaleas healthy throughout the growing season with good azalea care will ensure an abundance of beautiful blooms for many springs to come.
But these hardy plants don’t need too much attention; they can simply be enjoyed.
“Having everything that blooms and grows makes me happy,” Brooks says.