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Karen Azalea

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Karen Azalea (Rhododendron ‘Karen’)The hardiest azalea, stunning clusters of bright lavender-pink blooms on a dense compact shrub; a beautiful presentation as a garden focal point, prefers morning sun or dappled throughout the day

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
3 feet
Average Landscape Width:
3 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Rhododendron
Cultivar:
Karen
Flower Color:
lilac
Flower Period:
in mid spring
Summer Foliage Color:
dark green
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
moist
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
leggy
Pruning:
prune after flowering
Pollution Tolerance:
medium
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Density:
open
Flower Bicolor:
pink
Flower Form:
trumpet
Flower Fragrance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Karen Azalea is bathed in stunning clusters of lightly-scented lilac purple trumpet-shaped flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green deciduous foliage. The narrow leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color.

Landscape Attributes

Karen Azalea is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

Planting & Growing

Karen Azalea will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

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