Types of Azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Mechanicsburg, PA
Question by SherryDoug
April 30, 1998
In looking through your library for information on Azaleas, I noticed several references to Azaleas not suited to be planted outdoors. Having recently planted a small Azalea, I'm curious how I can tell if I wasted my money. The Azalea came in a pot, should I have bought one with the rootball wrapped in burlap?


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Answer from NGA
April 30, 1998

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As you indicated, there are many types of azaleas. While some varieties are very tender and do not tolerate cold winter weather, there are numerous hardier types with new ones being introduced all the time. These may be sold either in pots or as "ball and burlap" plants. Your best bet is to purchase your azalea from a reputable nursery which stocks only varieties known to be reliably hardy in your climate zone and local conditions. (Many of the azaleas sold in full flower by florist shops are not hardy.) For example, two time-tested and popular azaleas in your area of zone 6 are "Delaware Valley White" and "Hershey Red". If you know the name of the azalea you purchased, you may be able to determine if it is likely to be hardy for you or not. I hope the answer is yes!

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