Glow is a deciduous azalea reaching 6 to 8 feet
tall boasting incredible orange shades.
storms have been in the news the past couple of weeks in
an almost, Ďthe sky is falling,í scenario but it can
be happening in your landscape, too, thanks to new Solar
Flare and Solar Glow azaleas!
spring arrives in the south first, I can tell you
landscapes are lighting up with what many consider one
of the best of the best azalea bloom seasons ever. This
dazzling show is thanks in part to the Rhododendron
austrinum or Florida flame azaleas and their hybrids
like Solar Flare and Solar Glow.
you havenít heard of Solar Flare and Solar Glow yet itís
OK; they are another incredible creation of Buddy Lee in
Independence Louisiana, a horticultural hero who also
brought us the Encore series of repeat blooming azaleas.
Youíll find them both in the Southern Living Plant
Collection and Sunset Western Garden Collection.
Flare and Solar Glow azaleas will mature at about 6 to 8
feet in height and 4 to 5 feet wide. They are cold hardy
from zones 5 to 9 (-20) meaning much of the country can
revel in their spring blooming beauty. Revel I did, with
those planted outside my office when I was with the
Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah.
is a sense of panic at my new house in Hamilton, Ga.,
and probably a lot of other places too as homeowners see
azaleas blooming at the neighbors and realize we all
need them, too. Iím talking I want Solar Azaleas,
Encores, natives and other groups.
must have very well drained, organic-rich, acidic soil.
When we get heavy rain, we want the water to drain
freely. This is such a critical issue that many experts
even suggest planting them high so to speak where the
top one inch of the rootball is above the soil profile,
and add loose, organic material around it.
are very shallow rooted plants. Considering that you are
also planting high, in loose soil, you realize that
azaleas are prone to drying out, especially those newly
planted. Supplemental water will be needed. Mulch, which
conserves moisture is an absolute.
love the shocking colors of both the Solar Flare and
Solar Glow azaleas and relish the fact that they also
have a honeysuckle fragrance and bring in butterflies
and the first returning hummingbirds. You have to admit
that is pretty hard to beat.
might be wondering will orange whether a Solar azalea or
Florida flame clash with the other colors in the spring
garden and all I can say is no. No sight is more
stunning than the orange azaleas combined with dogwoods,
Louisiana or woodland phlox and purple azaleas like
Autumn Royalty. Do this, and you will have created the
shrub can give your landscape the WOW factor like
azaleas and now is the time to prepare the beds and get
several planted. And, by spreading our selections around
from deciduous natives and their hybrids like the Solar
series to evergreen repeat blooming Encores we can have
a layered look in the garden ensuring our spring bloom
extends all the way to fall.