Azalea 'Encore'


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full sun to light filtered shade. Minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sun for best blooms.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - Zones 7 to 9, with many varieties experiencing success in zones 6 to 10 as well.

3. Planting Distance - As indicated below.

  • Autumn Sunset™: 3½ feet apart in ground.
  • Autumn Twist™: 4 feet apart in ground.
  • Autumn Sundance™: 4 feet apart in ground. 

4. Mature Height/Spread - As indicated below.

  • Autumn Sunset™: 4 feet tall with a 3½ foot spread.
  • Autumn Twist™: 4½ feet tall with a 4 foot spread.
  • Autumn Sundance™: 3½ feet tall with a 4 foot spread. 

5. Bloom Time - Spring, Summer and Fall.

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable. If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the root ball from the pot. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers. Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil. Water thoroughly. 

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

Encore Azaleas® make great container plantings. Whether your hometown often experiences winters that are a little too frosty for Encore Azaleas to over winter in-ground or you live in warmer regions and just want to add an impressive accent to your patio, Encore Azaleas® can brighten any area! The sky is the limit with these impressive blooming azaleas. Add mixes of perennials, annuals, grasses, or cascading plants to make unique and interesting combinations of brilliant color and texture.  Note: See Winterizing under 'Continuing Care' for plants in containers.

When planted together, these tough, rugged, drought resistant plants are a striking color contrast and will grow in zones 3-9.

Encore Azalea® is a reblooming azalea that provides weeks of colorful flowers throughout the year in repeated flushes of blooms.  Once winter frosts set in, the blooming stops but the evergreen foliage remains attractive throughout the winter cold.

SOIL PREPARATION

Dig a hole 6-8 inches deep and fill it with water. If the hole drains within a few hours, you have good drainage. If the water is still standing 12 hours later, improve the drainage in your bed, perhaps by establishing a raised bed. A soil sample is always a good idea. Azaleas are acid-loving plants so optimum PH levels in the soil are between 5.5 and 6.5.

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Acid Loving Plants. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Water your Encore Azalea® well when you first plant it and keep the soil moist until winter. New azaleas will die quickly if the soil dries excessively. Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Encore Azaleas® require very little pruning to retain good form and do not need "deadheading." If you think your Encore Azalea needs pruning, do so immediately after the spring flowering for maximum bud set.  Light pruning of more established plants will stimulate growth and flowering.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Acid Loving Plants. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straws or leaves to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove the mulch from in-ground plantings.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.  

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.