Homebush Azalea

Rhododendron (Knap Hill Hybrid) 'Homebush'

Homebush Azalea

Rhododendron (Knap Hill Hybrid) 'Homebush'

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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 Homebush Azalea is a rounded deciduous shrub over 6 feet tall, capable of reaching 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide in time. The bright pink flowers are carried in rounded trusses at the top of every branch, making a stunning display in the middle of spring. The trumpet-shaped flowers are semi-double, and purple-pink with darker undertones. Grow it in garden beds or in woodland areas, where it thrives beneath deciduous trees in sun or shade.

  • Ball-shaped clusters of beautiful bright pink blooms in May
  • A deciduous species, which are easier to grow
  • Beautiful for woodlands and partial shade
  • Less need for very acidic soil
  • Winter hardy throughout zone 5

In cooler zones the Homebush Azalea will enjoy full sun, but otherwise morning sun and afternoon shade, or light dappled shade, is ideal. The soil should be moist, well-drained and acidic, although the requirement for acid soil is not as great as in most other azaleas. It is not drought resistant, so water during dry spells in summer. It needs almost no attention and it is generally free of pests and diseases.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-8
Mature Width 4-8
Mature Height 5-10
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 5-8

The story of the Knap Hill Azaleas is a famous one among growers, and one of the most popular varieties of these magnificent deciduous rhododendrons is the Homebush Azalea. Almost 100 years old now, but still going strong, this classic variety has been deservedly popular for its whole life, and now you too can enjoy it. The flower clusters that top every branch in spring are profusely produced, and their perfect dome shape is charming. So is the delicious bright, bold color of the blooms, which make up for their relative smallness with their abundance. These deciduous bushes are much more cold-resistant than their evergreen relatives, and this plant can be grown in all but the coldest parts of zone 4. It is also less demanding for the acid soil that azaleas love, and much easier to grow. Make spring a knockout season with the Homebush Azalea, which brightens home gardens like no other plant, old or new, can do.

Growing the Homebush Azalea

Size and Appearance

The Homebush Azalea is an upright deciduous shrub that will reach 6 feet tall within its first 10 years in your garden, ultimately reaching 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, so consider that when choosing where to plant it. It has an open branching structure, forming a dome shape. The elliptical leaves are about 3 inches long, and a slightly glossy dark green, quite different from the small hairy leaves of most azaleas, or the thick leathery ones of rhododendrons. The flowers are carried in clusters at the ends of the branches and each ball-shaped truss has about 15 blooms in it, each about 1¼ inches across, like flaring trumpets, and semi-double, with extra petals giving them a fuller look. You might be excused for thinking, from a distance, that it was a hydrangea, with the rounded flower heads and the bright pink coloring. The color is a purple-pink with darker undertones, of radiant beauty – one of the very best pink deciduous azaleas available. Blooming is usually in May, around the peak of the azalea season, but that varies a little with your planting zone.

Using the Homebush Azalea in Your Garden

The Homebush Azalea will be a wonderful addition to your garden, growing in shrub beds, on the east side of your home, or in semi-shade beneath large deciduous trees. It could even be planted on a lawn as a specimen, and grown in a row as a screen between more formal parts of the garden and wilder parts.


The Homebush Azalea grows well all the way from zone 5 into zone 8. It grows best in areas with regular rain and cooler summers and it is ideal for cool zones where evergreen azaleas can’t be grown.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Plant the Homebush Azalea in full sun in the cooler zones, and in partial shade anywhere. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal, or the dappled shade beneath tall deciduous trees. It should be planted in acidic soil, with a pH value of 6.0 or less, although it is less demanding for this than evergreen azaleas, and with generous soil amendments it can be grown in neutral and even slightly alkaline soils. Use plenty of lime-free organic materials, like compost, rotted leaves or peat-moss, when planting and as thick mulches.

Maintenance and Pruning

Apart from regular watering when young, and deep soaks in summer for mature plants, no special attention is needed to succeed with the Homebush Azalea. Little or no pruning is needed, or even desirable – let it grow into its natural form. When young it is useful to take the trouble of removing the spent flower clusters – snap them out, without removing any foliage or damaging new growth. This prevents seeding and encourages more blooms for the following year.

History and Origin of the Homebush Azalea

Anthony Waterer was one of the most important early breeders of azaleas and rhododendrons, whose Knap Hill nursery in southern England was a center for the introduction and breeding of rhododendrons in the 19th century. Most of the earliest plants were from Asia, but Waterer was particularly taken with the North American species. The flame azalea, Rhododendron calendulaceum, from the Appalachians, was especially valuable for its unique orange and yellow colors. Waterer crossed it with the Chinese Rhododendron molle, with yellow blooms, and added in other American species like the cold-resistant smooth azalea, Rhododendron arborescens and the western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale, which grows on alkaline soils. The many hybrids he created became known as the Knap Hill Hybrids, the most important group of deciduous azaleas we have. The variety called ‘Homebush’ was created sometime before 1925, when it was released by the Slocock Nurseries. It has been an enduring favorite ever since.

Buying the Homebush Azalea at the Tree Center

If you didn’t know about deciduous azaleas, let the Homebush Azalea be your introduction to these fascinating and easy-to-grow plants. You will love how easy it is to grow, how cold-resistant, and how gorgeous. Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society gave it an award in 1950 and again, with the Award of Garden Merit, in 1993, clear recommendations of its value, but order now, because the popular bush is always in high demand, and sells out almost as fast as we bring it into our stock.

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Homebush Azalea

Rhododendron (Knap Hill Hybrid) 'Homebush'