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.
Mature Size: 2-4ft. Tall x 2-4ft. Wide
Hardiness Zone: 5-8
Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Full Shade
Choosing the Right Plants
American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose
Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:
- Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
- Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
- Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
- Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
- Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
- Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
- Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted
Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success
Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice.
When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife.
A Special Note About Exposure
Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.
Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download
Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download