Deciduous Azaleas

by Millie Davenport, Horticulture Extension Agent, Home & Garden Information Center, Clemson University, 2009

Hi, I am Millie Davenport, a horticulture Extension agent with the Clemson University Home and Garden Information Center. Today we are going to look at a few deciduous azaleas here at the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

This is the Florida azalea, Rhododendron austrinum. It reaches about 8 to 10 feet tall in the landscape, a nice deciduous azalea with a beautiful orange colored, reddish and orange colored blossom that can be about 2 inches in diameter. The actual foliage itself will come out a little later than the flowers and its a nice medium green color. These particular plants are going to do really well in a part shade area in your landscape, a nice rich organic matter soil, well drained but yet moist. Great for naturalized areas. One of the great aspects of this plant is the fragrance that the flowers are going to give your landscape. It's a really nice spicy smell to the flower.

This is another deciduous azalea, this one happens to be native to South Carolina. This is the piedmont azalea, Rhododendron canescens. It's a nice pink flower bloom to it and it's fragrant as well. The Piedmont Azalea blooms a little earlier than the Florida Azalea that we've looked at. Again, the flower blossoms can get about 2 inches wide, and the height on this ultimately will reach about 10 to 15 foot tall. Again, a nice plant to add to your landscape for part shade areas with morning sun.

Here is the Pinxterbloom Azalea, this is Rhododendron periclymenoides. This again is another native azalea to South Carolina, has really nice pink blossoms to it, 1 ½ inch diameter, really nice and pink, and fragrant as well. So again, it's going to make a nice specimen or mass planting of native azaleas for your landscape.

Here we have another nice, native, deciduous azalea to add to the landscape. This is Oconee azalea, Rhododendron flammeum. The flowers on this are really beautiful scarlet to reddish tip kind of color to it. Blossom clusters up to 2 to 2 ½ inches wide on this. And the plant can reach up to 6 to 8 feet tall in the landscape.

Now, with all of your native or even deciduous azaleas that you may choose for the landscape, you want a really nice moist, well-drained soil, in a part shade area where you are going to get just morning sun and afternoon shade. They can be used as a specimen in the garden or as a large mass planting and they will make a nice addition to any landscape.

For more information on gardening, landscaping, insect and disease problems on your plants, visit the Home & Garden Information Center web site at

Page maintained by: Home & Garden Information Center

This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.