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Hardy Gardenia Azalea
Rhododendron 'Hardy Gardenia'
Hardy Gardenia Azalea flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 6b
It may lack the fragrance of its namesake but the large white double blooms capture the essence of the gardenia; ideal when massed in borders, foundation plantings, or as an accent; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil
Hardy Gardenia Azalea is covered in stunning clusters of lightly-scented white trumpet-shaped flowers with a chartreuse blotch at the ends of the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green deciduous foliage which emerges light green in spring. The glossy narrow leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color.
Hardy Gardenia Azalea is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.
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.
Hardy Gardenia Azalea is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Hardy Gardenia Azalea will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy. 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.
Hardy Gardenia Azalea makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.