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Coastal Azalea

Rhododendron atlanticum

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Coastal Azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum) at Homestead Gardens

Coastal Azalea flowers

Coastal Azalea flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Dwarf Azalea

Description:

A delightlfully fragrant, semi-dwarf variety producing funnel shaped white and pink flowers, before the leaves in mid to late spring; elliptic foliage in hues of blue-green; great for areas along walking paths to enjoy the sweet honeysuckle fragrance

Ornamental Features

Coastal Azalea is draped in stunning clusters of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers with shell pink overtones at the ends of the branches from mid to late spring, which emerge from distinctive coral-pink flower buds before the leaves. It has bluish-green foliage throughout the season. The small oval leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Coastal Azalea is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Coastal Azalea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Coastal 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. 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 leaves in alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features