If you’re looking for a plant with show-stopping blooms, the Autumn Bonfire™ Encore® Azalea delivers, with rose-red flowers. What’s more, you’ll have enough time to really enjoy the flowers on this dwarf shrub, since it blooms for three seasons: spring, summer, and fall! Another beautiful and unique feature of this variety is that it has both single and semi-double blooms, meaning that some flowers will bloom with more petals than others.
Gardeners often choose to plant the Autumn Bonfire™ Encore® Azalea along borders, in mass plantings, or among other greenery to add vibrant pops of red. Unlike full-size Azaleas, you could also use this variety in foundation plantings, as it only grows to a full size of 3 to 4 feet high and wide. It also reaches its full height more quickly than other Azaleas, after only five years, and thrives in both full or partial sun.
Spring and fall are ideal times to plant Azaleas when conditions in your area aren’t too cold or too hot. However, if you avoid freezing and extremely hot temperatures, you can plant any time of the year. Unlike other Azaleas, this one does well in both partial and full sun. Before planting, be sure to test your soil to determine if it’s acidic – the type of soil Azaleas prefer. If you have alkaline soil, you should modify it before planting Azaleas by adding fertilizer, compost, or sulfur.
When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole that’s three times as wide and just as deep as the shrub’s root ball. Remove the plant from the container and loosen the roots with your fingers so that they spread out once planted, and then, place your shrub. Backfill the soil and water lightly as you do this to remove air pockets. If you plan to plant several Azaleas near each other to create a hedge, be sure to space them at least three feet apart; if you want them to have some space between them, give them five feet.
We recommend watering twice to three times weekly in the first growing season. During the hotter times of the year, plan to water every other day, depending on the weather. Once plants are established, they will need less frequent watering.
To maintain your Azalea, be sure to fertilize it annually in the spring. Follow label instructions closely, as the application will vary by manufacturer.
You don’t have to prune your Azalea, though many gardeners choose to do so after the bush is finished blooming to ensure it grows fuller and is renewed.