Autumn Ruby Encore® Azalea

Rhododendron hybrid 'Conler' (PP# 12,110)

Autumn Ruby Encore® Azalea

Rhododendron hybrid 'Conler' (PP# 12,110)


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Autumn Ruby™ Encore® Azalea forms a neat, rounded evergreen shrub that is soon 2 feet tall and wide. It matures in time to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, making a perfect plant for the front of larger beds, or the middle of small ones, and it is perfect for gardens of all sizes. Its soft, deep green leaves disappear in spring beneath a profusion of ruby-red blossoms, which return by mid-July and continue all through fall until the first frost ends the display. Grow this plant in boxes or pots if you don’t have the right kind of soil.

  • Blooms in spring and again from mid-summer to first frost
  • A profusion of rich-red flowers on every branch
  • Compact bush 2 feet tall, ultimately reaching 3 or 4 feet tall and wide
  • Perfect for planter boxes and pot growing
  • Does well in more sun than other azaleas

The Autumn Ruby™ Encore® Azalea grows well in sun, much more than most other types of azaleas, and plenty of light encourages those fall blossoms. It is hardy in zone 7, warmer parts of zone 6, and all through the hottest zones, thriving in the South. The soil should be rich, moist and well-drained, and this plant is not drought-tolerant. To grow it well the soil should be acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, or grow your plants in pots, with soil for acid-loving plants. Regular fertilizer helps it keep blooming and blooming. Pests and diseases rarely cause problems for this easy plant.

Plant Hardiness Zones 7-10
Mature Width 3-4
Mature Height 3-4
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Zones 7-10

Evergreen azaleas have always been the backbone of spring flowering shrubs in warmer parts of the country. They make a beautiful display at that time, but for the rest of the year they are just green bushes. This means that the more you aim for a colorful spring, the more you are left with a green summer and fall, with no room in your garden for later-blooming shrubs. Azalea breeder “Buddy” Lee certainly felt that way, so he developed a whole new class of azaleas – the Encore® Azaleas – that bloom not just in spring, but again from mid-summer all the way to the first frost. There is a good range of colors among these plants, but if you love red then we have the plant for you – the Autumn Ruby™ Encore® Azalea. This compact shrub fits into gardens of all sizes, as single plants in small beds, or mass-planted in drifts in larger ones. When it is smothered in rich red blooms in April or May you will love it, but just wait a few weeks, and by mid-July it will be opening new buds, that increase in abundance all the way through September and October, ending only when the first frost arrives, which in the South can be as late as December. You have up to 6 months of blooms on these plants – an incredible way to color your garden red.

The Autumn Ruby Encore Azalea is a rounded bush that grows as much as 8 inches a year, so that within a few years it will be a dense shrub 2 feet tall and wide. Later it will reach as much as 3 to 4 feet tall and wide, making a substantial plant, but not so big that it outgrows even the smallest garden. With these dimensions it is also perfect for planter boxes and pot growing. This means that even if your garden doesn’t have the acidic soil all azaleas you can still enjoy this beautiful plant and its endless display of blooms.

The leaves of the Autumn Ruby Encore Azalea are a neat 1½ inches long, rounded ovals in rich green, with smooth edges and a slightly hairy surface, making them soft to the touch. At the end of every stem a cluster of 3 or 4 buds develops, and in April or May these become beautiful funnel-shaped blossoms, about 1½ inches in diameter. Each bloom lasts almost a week, and since they open in succession, your plant is in bloom for weeks. The flowers are a glowing ruby-red, with darker spots and streaks on the inside of the petals, adding to the lush look of this plant. It glows out across your garden, looking wonderful. After the last blooms fall new stems grow out from just below the spent flowers, so don’t trim them off. Don’t trim the new shoots either, because buds develop on the ends of them, starting up the summer and fall display.

Use the Autumn Ruby Encore Azalea as an edging plant on larger shrub beds, or plant it along a path or driveway. Add it to the evergreens around your home, for glorious color, or plant it in open areas in woodlands. Use it in planter boxes on your terrace or patio and grow some in pots to bring indoors for a while when they are in bloom. Use it in Asian gardens, natural gardens, courtyards, balconies, or anywhere else you want evergreen foliage and vibrant color.

The Autumn Ruby Encore Azalea is hardy in zone 7, and all warmer zones. It revels in the humid summers of the South, and it will also grow in sheltered spots in warmer parts of zone 6. Plant it in full sun or partial shade. These azaleas grow well in more sun than most other kinds of azaleas enjoy, and they bloom better in fall with plenty of sunshine. The soil should be moist, well-drained and rich, and azaleas will not grow well in dry, infertile soil. The soils should be acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If you don’t have suitable soil, it is easier and more rewarding to grow this plant in a pot, in potting soil blended for acid-loving plants, than it is to struggle with lowering the pH of your soil, something which is almost always unsuccessful. Azaleas are not drought tolerant, but regular watering is the only care they need. Trimming is not needed, or desirable, as you can easily remove the flower buds. Pests and diseases normally cause no significant problems, and overall these are easy plants to grow, with suitable soil, bright light, and regular watering.

To create the Autumn Ruby Encore Azalea, the skilled breeder Robert E. “Buddy” Lee, from Independence, Louisiana, began with the rare Taiwan azalea, Rhododendron olhamii. A plant of that species grown from wild-collected seed, called ‘Fourth of July’, produces some flowers in summer and fall. He used pollen from that plant to produce hybrid seed on a Japanese azalea, Rhododendrum indicum, called ‘Pink Cheer`. Among the seedlings that grew was a gorgeous small plant with prolific fall blooming and beautiful red flowers. He named it ‘Conler’ and received a US patent for it in 2001. Since then it has become a big favorite with gardeners as part of his Encore® Azalea range, with the trademark name of Autumn Ruby™. If you like azaleas, you will love this one, with its endless profusion of blooms. But order now, because our other clients all love it too, and our stock will be gone very soon.

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Autumn Ruby Encore® Azalea

Rhododendron hybrid 'Conler' (PP# 12,110)