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Azalea Plants

Q.Zone 5 Azaelas

Zone Ithaca Zone 4 - 5 | Anonymous added on October 16, 2021 | Answered

Hi, Do you have any idea where I can buy Zone 5 Azaelas? They are a favorite shrub from my childhood, and I’m so excited that now varieties exist that I can grow here in Central NY. Thank you so much, Louise Schefkowitz

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Answered on October 17, 2021

Zone 5 is normally the coldest end of their winter hardiness. Many azaleas grown in Zone 5 may not be evergreen; they may lose foliage and-or branches above the ground unless you grow them in containers and bring the containers into a protected location during winter (basically a location where temperatures do not drop much below 20°F). If you're in Zone 4 and just have to try an azalea, Wilson Bros. Gardens recommends to plant in a site that provides at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day during the winter and insulate the roots in late fall with a 4” layer of mulch past the drip line that is removed when temperatures warm in early spring.

You may want to consider the Stanton Hybrids, a.k.a. the Great Lakes Series. They were developed in Grosse Ile, Michigan. My contacts at the Azalea Society Of America indicate that, for a source for these azaleas, you might try Mr. John Migas, a nurseryman in Saugatuck, MI. He also would be an excellent source for other evergreen azaleas that you might want to try. He has an extensive selection. His E-mail address is azaleajohn@yahoo.com.

Another possibility is to consider azalea cousins called rhododendrons. Some good choices for z5 are the rhododendrons that belong to the Northern Lights Series. These plants were developed and released by the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Northern Lights rhododendrons are not just borderline zone 5 rhododendrons. They are hardy in regions where temperatures drop to -30 degrees to -45 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want pink flowers, consider “Pink Lights” for pale pink; or “Rosy Lights” for deeper pink; or “White Lights” for pink buds that open to white flowers; or “Spicy Lights” for unusual salmon colored flowers; or “Orchid Lights” for ivory colored flowers.

For more info on the Northern Lights, click here to browse a PDF File from the Azalea Society of America: https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrCmmBHoWxhL2EA1AQnnIlQ;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzIEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1634537927/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.azaleas.org%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2fazalean%2f31%2f2%2farticles%2fNorthern_Lights_Azaleas.pdf/RK=2/RS=O9LY.5Ti.9UzqiM0glbx17rbEww-

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