Azaleas are great plants to grow in your garden. They have beautiful flowers, and form attractive, rounded bushes that hold those flowers up in the air where they can be appreciated best. Most azaleas flower just in spring, and look a bit dull and uninteresting for the rest of the year. Encore Azaleas don’t do that. They continue blooming throughout summer and fall, constantly sending up new shoots with new flowers, month after month. These beautiful plants come in a wide range of colors and sizes, and the Autumn Sunset Encore Azalea is one of the best. Its flowers are a stunning rich red, just like the deep reds seen in the sky during a spectacular sunset.
The compact bushes grow to 3 feet tall and a little more across, making a substantial but compact plant that fits into any size garden. In a small garden a single plant makes a wonderful specimen, in bloom for months. In a larger garden, several can be grouped together to create billowing clouds of color in your beds. Grouped with other Encore Azalea varieties like Autumn Royalty, it can give your garden vibrant color groupings that will bring it to life. The flowers are 2 – 3 inches across, and are semi-double, making for the richest possible color. A semi-double flower has additional petals inside the usual trumpet of petals, making the flower fuller, richer and more dramatic in form.
Plant the Autumn Sunset Encore Azalea in a sunny location. These plants enjoy more sun than regular azaleas, which are more shade-loving. Only in hot regions like California is it necessary to provide some afternoon shade for the plants. This means they can be grown in many more parts of the garden than usual. They are hardy to cold areas all through zone 6, with winter temperatures to minus 10 degrees. They will also grow throughout zone 9, so across almost all the country, you can enjoy these remarkable plants. In cold areas, make sure you water your plants well in late fall, as dryness combined with cold in winter can burn the foliage. Use a bark or pine-needle mulch to protect the root-zone from cold, and to retain moisture not only in winter but in summer too.
The very large group of plants called Rhododendron include both deciduous and evergreen plants. Gardeners call the evergreen varieties with smaller leaves, azaleas. They originate in milder parts of China, Japan and the Himalayan mountains, and flower in the spring. There is one species, Rhododendron oldhamii, called the Taiwan azalea, which uniquely blooms in summer and fall. An experienced azalea breeder called Buddy Lee, who lives in Louisiana, crossed the Taiwan Azalea with other evergreen azaleas, beginning in the 1980s. By 1995, after years of testing and development, he released the first bushes, which he called Encore Azaleas, because they not only flower in spring, but they produce flowers during the summer and fall as well. New colors and forms are releases every year, and these plants are very popular in gardens. All forms are patented, so you can be sure that if it doesn’t say ‘Encore’, it isn’t the real thing. Cheaper plants will be a huge disappointment.
Like all azaleas, your Encore Azaleas grow best in acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 or lower. If your neighbors are growing azaleas, you can too, and if you don’t have suitable soil, the Autumn Sunset Encore Azalea can be grown easily in a pot or planter box. Use a soil designed for acid-loving plants and water whenever the soil begins to dry a little on top. Use an azalea fertilizer regularly, as directed for the particular product you have. Plants in the garden should be kept well-watered, especially during the first season or two, while they become established.
We know that the Autumn Sunset Encore Azalea is a knockout, and so do our customers. So although we have good stocks, these gorgeous and coveted plants will not stay in stock long. Order now to enjoy these fabulous plants in your own garden.