Rhododendron arborescens - Sweet Azalea, Smooth Azalea

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Butterfly FriendlyRain GardenPart ShadeFall Color
DESCRIPTION
Sweet Azalea, Smooth Azalea
Rhododendron arborescens

This azalea adds a delicate and refined character to the garden. The floral display in late spring and early summer is fantastic. White flowers blushed with pink have protruding red stamens and a delicious scent. Try combining them with summersweet and goldflame honeysuckle to have a fragrant garden all season long. The shiny, deep green foliage takes on an orange to crimson fall color. Attracts butterflies and native bees.

BENEFITS
  • White to blush pink flowers are breathtaking and very fragrant
  • Sweet Azalea is fast growing compared to other native azalea
  • Attracts butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects
  • It is one of the hardiest native white azaleas
  • Lustrous dark green foliage turns orange to crimson in fall
NATIVE INFO

Native Range

Found in swamp forests, mountain bogs and stream banks in the Piedmont.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)

INTERESTING FACTS

The queen bee can live up to 5 years and her role is to fill the hive with eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, she lays up to 2500 eggs per day. The queen bee has control over whether she lays male or female eggs.

GROWING TIPS

 

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: 4-10ft. Tall x 4-10ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-7

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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    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.

    DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

    Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Birds - Double sided printout for download