Rhododendrons or azaleas #747960 - Ask Extension

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Rhododendrons or azaleas #747960

Asked May 04, 2021, 2:24 PM EDT

I was wondering if rhododendrons or azaleas would provide a better, longer lasting scrub for a front yard. Or, would you recommend a different scrub altogether? We would probably want two of whatever plant we choose. The area I have in mind is in front of a garage ( not by the doors).

Washington County Minnesota

Expert Response

Northern Lights Azalea series are the hardiest. They grow from 3 to 6 feet in height.

https://mnhardy.umn.edu/varieties/woody-ornamentals/azaleas

In MN, they prefer sun during the growing season. While Rhododendrons prefer light to medium shade. You should avoid planting these on the south or southwest side of your house. The soil should be moist, well-drained, with plenty of organic soil. When you plant an azalea you dig a hole at least twice as wide as the container. Mix your existing soil with 1/3 peat moss. Place the plant in the hole so the top of the root ball is 2” above ground level. Backfill with the amended soil to the top of the root ball to create a slight mound. Fertilize with a fertilizer for acid loving plants. Chlorotic foliage ( yellow) may indicate that the soil is too alkaline and needs further acidification.

https://www.treestodaynursery.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Azalea-Handout.pdf

https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/azalea-northern-lights-series

Pat Mack Replied May 04, 2021, 3:21 PM EDT

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