Rhododendron atlanticum - Coastal Azalea, Dwarf Azalea
DESCRIPTIONCoastal Azalea, Dwarf Azalea
Coastal azalea is a common understory plant along the southeastern coastal plains of the United States. The pinkish-white flowers are delightfully fragrant with a hint of clove. The foliage is an attractive blue-green, a nice contrast to the flowers. This shrub has a semi-dwarf habit and will spread by underground stems to form colonies. Great for naturalized areas and in the moist shade of taller trees. Given the right growing conditions, this is an easy-to-grow, low-maintenance shrub with big rewards.
- Fragrant pinkish-white flowers bloom in April to May
- Blue-green foliage is a pleasant contrast to the blooms
- Attracts birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects
- Semi-dwarf habit
- Can spread by underground stems to form colonies
Found in moist, flat, pine woods and coastal savannas.
Map Credit: The Biota of North America
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
A butterfly cannot live on sugar alone; it needs minerals, too. To supplement its diet of nectar, a butterfly will occasionally sip from mud puddles, which are rich in minerals and salts. This behavior is called puddling.
Ideally, azaleas like morning sun and filtered shade during the hottest part of the day. They can tolerate more sun if moisture is available. They prefer evenly moist yet well-drained soil, making them perfect for a woodland slope where the water would drain well. Rhododendrons and azaleas need slightly acidic soil that is rich in organic matter. Mulching helps keep the soil cool and moist. Prune after flowering if needed.