Azaleas to Camellias
January 1, 2017
Today Southern Gardening is at the South Mississippi Branch Station enjoying, due in part to the late arrival of cooler temperatures, a somewhat unusual flowering combination, azaleas and camellias. Encore azaleas are a popular landscape shrub and this year are still blooming like crazy in late fall. These shrubs are desirable because their multi season blooming provides a colorful display beyond the traditional spring bloom period. And their compact growth habit is great for smaller landscapes and easy care. There are many colors available, but I think I like the pink toned plants the best. Autumn Belle has unique blooms that are white and pink bicolor; Autumn Sundance dazzles with its vibrant pink flowers; Autumn Rouge is the original Encore having semi-double plink flowers; Autumn Carnation has bright and cheerful pink blooms. Another popular landscape shrub is Camellia hiemalis. These are very similar in leaf and flowering to our Sasanqua camellias and are often marketed as little or dwarf sasanqua. The best known selection is Shishi Gashira which has a mature height of only three feet. But there are a couple of larger hiemalis selections having more upright growth. Dazzler has moderate to slow growth with rose red semi-double flowers. Kanjiro has a dense growth habit with large rose-pink semi-double flowers and can eventually reach about eight feet tall. I can’t say we can have these two groups of plants blooming together like crazy every year but when they do it’s quite the display. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.