The Q&A Archives: Azaleas

Question: I received a "Northern Lights Azalea" plant for Mother's Day. I don't know if it is hardy enough to survive the cold Michigan winters and also where to plant it.I also need to know what I can do to help it survive.

Answer: Your Northern Lights is R. prinophyllum, a shrub growing 2'-8' tall. It's hardy to Zone 3 (to -25?F) The Northern Lights Series was developed by Albert G. Johnson in the late 1930's. General care guidelines for your plant: Azaleas require an acid soil (amend with peat moss), and use a special "acidified" azalea fertilizer, and they do best with plenty of soil moisture. Your plant will thrive in the shade. There are few insect or disease problems associated with azaleas, so they're relatively easy to grow. Just some minor pruning to help keep their shape, and regular watering during the summer should make your new azaleas quite happy.

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