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The best feature of Encore® azalea shrubs is their reblooming nature. Most azaleas bloom once in the spring for several weeks per year. The Azalea Encore® line reblooms again in summer and can carry blooms into fall, providing three seasons of showy color and bright flowers.
You may have heard that azaleas like shady spots. Traditional azaleas do enjoy growing under other trees, in partial shade. However, Encore® azaleas can also be planted in the sun!
They are an excellent choice for people with sunny yards who want some azalea color and pizzazz. For the best blooms, 4-6 hours of sun and a little afternoon shade are ideal.
Encore® azaleas are evergreen, keeping their foliage year-round. A great feature if you want to use them to create privacy and seclusion.
How to Landscape Encore® Azaleas in the Garden
Encore® azaleas make superb specimen plantings at the corners of your home, outbuildings, or next to your mailbox. Use them at the street end of your driveway, or to mark the entrance to your deck or patio. Their evergreen foliage provides color and screening in all seasons.
Encore® azaleas make striking mass plantings, making a broad swath of colorful flowers in the landscape and softening corners and transitions in your yard. Choose several complementary colors to achieve that professionally landscaped look.
You can also grow Encore® azaleas in containers. These compact shrubs do well in larger pots and planters and can add a great splash of color to your deck or patio.
How to Plant Encore® Azaleas
Loose, fertile, and well-drained organic soil is what these Encore® azaleas like. They prefer acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 - 6.0. If you need to adjust the pH of your soil before planting your azaleas, you can lower it with aluminum sulfate or elemental sulfur.
Consider making raised beds to plant these azaleas if your site has poor drainage.
Water them in well after planting and mulch around and under the branches. Lawn care machines and azaleas don’t mix.
Encore® Azalea Size and Cold Hardiness
Most Encore® azaleas are hardy in USDA zones 6-10. If you are planting in the southern edges of its range, give it more shelter from the hot afternoon sun. Likewise, choose a warmer spot if you live on the northern edge of its hardiness area.
If you live in zone 5 or 6, choose a location sheltered from winter winds. Mulch the base of the plant well in the fall. You can also wrap it in burlap for the winter or bring it inside if you planted it in a container.
Best Fertilizer for Encore Azaleas & Watering Practices
Azaleas do not require supplemental fertilizer if planted in fertile soil. If needed, they can be fertilized once per year in spring with a general-purpose slow-release product. Avoid fertilizing in late summer, as the flush of new growth may not harden off before colder temperatures in fall.
Water deeply and regularly during the first growing season after transplanting. Once they are well-established, they should only require watering during prolonged dry periods.
Keep an eye on pH in containers. Many potting mixes are neutral at 7.0 pH and may need to be lowered to suit your azalea.
How and When to Prune Encore Azaleas
These compact flowering plants do not need much pruning. And, Encore® azaleas don’t need to be deadheaded. You can remove dead, broken, or crossing branches in spring to keep them looking a bit nicer. Do so immediately after the spring flowering flush.