Encore Azaleas: Made For Louisiana!
- Blooms Spring, Summer and Fall
- More Compact than Traditional
- Less Pruning
- More Sun Tolerant
Encore azaleas are a series of hybrids developed to be true multi-season bloomers. They were created by Robert C. Buddy Lee, a plantsman from Independence, Louisiana. Here are a few simple guidelines to help your new plants grow to their fullest potential:
Sun Exposure: Anywhere from full sun to part shade. A minimum of four hours of direct sunlight per day is required for proper blooms. All day filtered sun or morning sun with afternoon shade are okay.
Soil Drainage: Encore Azaleas grow best in a soil that is well-drained but moist. You might need to improve drainage if the spot you want to plant holds water. Another option is to plant in a raised beds.
Spacing: When planting a hedge, space plants the same width apart as the mature dimensions specify. This measurement should be taken from the center of one plant to the center of the other. If you want space between your plants separate them by more than the mature width dimensions. Encore Azaleas can be shaped and trimmed back to fit a certain landscape or shape.
Planting: Dig a hole at a depth equal to the height and two to three times as wide as the container your Encore Azalea was growing in. Turn and break up the soil removed from the planting hole. Mix some organic planting mix (we recommend Happy Frog) with the soil. Remove your Encore Azalea from its container and carefully but firmly loosen some feeder roots around the surface of the root ball. Set the plant into the hole you've prepared, making sure the top of the root ball is slightly above the soil level. Pull your soil around the plant, water thoroughly and cover with a thick layer of shredded wood mulch or pine straw.
Water: Water your Encore Azalea deeply when you first plant it. During the first growing season keep the soil moist, but not wet, until winter. Your Encore Azaleas should not need regular watering after the first year unless there are periods of excessive drought. Wilting new leaves are a sign your plants need a good deep soaking.
Fertilizer: Fertilize with the recommended levels of azalea food soon after planting. Then feed after the first bloom cycle in spring. To avoid damage from an early frost in fall, cease feeding after August.
Fall & Winter Care: Encore Azaleas do well and are easier to establish when they are planted in fall. During the first winter, it's a good idea to cover your young azalea with insulating covering when temperatures are forecast to drop below 20 degrees. As your Encore Azalea matures, it will need less winter care.
Pruning: Encore Azaleas do not have to be pruned, or their flowers deadheaded. However they respond very well to pruning and will benefit from it. Pruning Encore Azaleas immediately after the spring bloom cycle will encourage more new growth. When pruning a healthy Encore Azalea, make your cuts about an inch or so above a leaf.