Plant Taxonomy of Gibraltar Azaleas:
Plant Type for Gibraltar Azaleas:
Characteristics of Gibraltar Azaleas:
Planting Zones for Gibraltar Azaleas:
Sun and Soil Requirements for Gibraltar Azaleas:
Uses in Landscaping:
Because of these orange azaleas bear colorful flowers in spring, some like to use these bushes as foundation plants. As deciduous shrubs, however, they will provide neither a buffer to cold winds nor a point of visual interest in winter. Therefore, they would not be my first choice in a foundation planting.
Caution: poisonous plants. Make sure they're out of reach of children and pets, who may accidentally ingest them.
Care for Gibraltar Azaleas: Mulching, Pruning, Fertilizing:
These shallow-rooted plants like their "feet" kept cool, and you can accomplish this by applying mulch around them. Since they bloom on old wood, prune them just after blooming. You have to be careful about the time of year in which your fertilize: Fertilizing should be done in spring. Otherwise, you will be promoting tender new growth too late in the year -- growth that will be damaged in cold weather. Specialty fertilizers are sold for these plants that will contain ammonium-N (which will also lower soil pH).
See more about caring for these plants below, including planting information.
Orange Azaleas Attract Wildlife, Too!:
Deciduous vs. Evergreen:
While some shrubs in the genus, Rhododendron are evergreen, Gibraltar azaleas are deciduous. This fact holds 2 ramifications of significance to the gardener:
- Deciduous types are more sun-tolerant than evergreen types; in the North, at least dappled sunlight is required for optimal blooming on Gibraltar azaleas.
- Deciduous types offer no interest in the winter landscape.
Other Orange Azaleas, More Care Tips:
Examples of other orange azaleas hardy to at least zone 5 include:
- 'Golden Lights': a golden-orange azalea
- 'Mandarin Lights': a bright orange azalea
Proper Gibraltar azalea care begins at planting time. Because they are shallow-rooted bushes, dig a wide planting hole when installing these orange azaleas. Preparing a hole of generous width will give the root system friable soil into which they may expand.
Water well during the first couple of years or so, to help the plants become established. There's a tricky balance to keep between sufficient watering and overwatering, but the latter is much easier to avoid if you ensure that the soil is well-drained (see above).