Purple Azalea Bush – Which One is Right For You?

Are you thinking about growing a purple azalea bush in your garden? There are many varieties of azaleas, but which one is right for you? Find out about ‘April Rose’, ‘Purple Formosa,’ ‘Purple Gem’, and ‘Fireball.’ Each of these blooms is beautiful and can liven up any space. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most popular varieties and their common names.

‘April Rose’

‘April Rose’ purple azalees are medium-sized dwarf azaleas with small, fragrant flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. The flowers are up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide, give off a delicate fragrance, and are cold-hardy. ‘April Rose’ is an easy-to-grow, cold-hardy plant that can reach up to 4 feet tall and wide. There are many varieties of this species, including Satsuki azalee, Kazan azalea, and Aikoku Japanese azelea.

To keep ‘April Rose’ healthy, water the shrub regularly during hot weather and once a week in cooler weather. The roots of azaleas can be shallow and will dry out quickly during times of limited rainfall. Therefore, it is recommended to water them at ground level, as watering from overhead will promote diseases. If watering the azalea, apply slow-release fertilizer once or twice a year to its roots.

Another attractive cultivar is ‘April Rose’. The flowers are orange to peach in color. The flowers are borne in clusters of 10 petals, which are ruffled. The azalea grows three to six feet tall and five feet wide and is hardy in Zones 5-8. They have a soft fragrance and blooms that are fragrant and showy. They are a good accent shrub.

‘Purple Formosa’

The large, rich flowers of the Purple Formosa azalea bush will be the focus of your garden this year. These perennial shrubs bloom in the spring and repeat in the fall. They tolerate partial or full shade and require regular weekly watering. Depending on the zone you live in, you can plant them close together for a colorful hedge or foundation plant. The plant grows to between six and eight feet tall and tolerates light pruning.

Watering: Once established, the Purple Formosa Azalea needs water about two to three times a week. It prefers a medium acidic soil that drains well. Fertilizing: During early spring, apply a balanced acidic plant fertilizer to the soil. This fertilizer will help the plant maintain a healthy pH balance and ensure it flourishes. However, supplemental irrigation during a drought may be necessary.

Colorful, fragrant flowers: The Formosa azalea is one of the most colorful shrubs in the world. The blooms are a popular choice for gardeners because they attract hummingbirds. This azalea grows to six to eight feet tall and four to six feet wide, depending on where you plant it. In full sunlight, the flowers appear a soft lavender color, but when grown in partial shade, they turn magenta or purple. A flowering time of five to six years is ideal for the Formosa. A ten-foot tall azalea bush will take around five years to reach full size. It requires rich, well-drained soil and pH of 4.5 to six. If you’re planning to plant this shrub in your garden, consider planting it in a shelter for the winter.

‘Purple Gem’

‘Purple Gem’ rhododendron grows to just over two feet, is dwarf, and has showy, purple flowers. Its foliage and azalea-like blooms make it an excellent choice for a rock garden, flowering border, or front border. The azalea bush prefers acidic, well-drained soil and partial shade. Plants of this rhododendron can also be propagated by layering and/or planting cuttings. You can also grow the plant from seed indoors.

The rhododendron genus is large and diverse, with over 800 species and eight subgenera. The ‘Purple Gem’ cultivar has a short, narrow foliage and grows well in acidic soils. Purple Imp is a close cousin of ‘Purple Gem’ and grows well in partial shade. Both cultivars have blue-purple buds and do well in shady areas.

‘Purple Gem’ azales are easy to grow in containers. You can either grow them in pots, containers, or semi-barrels. For larger varieties, a container made of a half-barrel or 15 gallon bucket is ideal. Planting time: ‘Purple Gem’ grows best in spring or early fall. A few weeks before the rhododendron blooms, remove the foliage and lightly moisten the soil around the roots.


The fiery orange-red flowers of Azalea ‘Fireball’ are attractive to behold and have a delicate fragrance. The plant’s foliage matures to a striking red-to-purple color in autumn. This azalea bush requires minimal maintenance and requires very little pruning. It grows in well-drained soil and can be a good companion for camellias and rhododendrons.

Planting the Fireball azalea near the front of your property is a great way to make your landscape look unique and exciting. The open branching structure and see-through flower buds will attract the attention of passers-by. In addition to creating a unique perspective, this plant will attract curious hummingbirds. It can grow as high as four feet tall at maturity. A thriving plant in a garden, it’s easy to maintain, and will give your property a unique look.

Another type of azalea, called the Exbury azalea, can be grown in zones four through seven. The Exbury variety is a cross between R. prinophyllum and R. canadense. Its flowers are rose-colored and last until the fall foliage has changed color. A fireball purple azalea bush should be planted in full sun, as this will give it an abundance of flowers.

‘Mount Saint Helens’

This medium-sized deciduous azalea has beautiful, fragrant, tri-colored flowers with yellow and orange markings. The flowers are 2 1/2″ in diameter and appear in rounded trusses. The leaves are narrow and yellowish-green, and the plant grows to about 6 feet tall. A nice bonus is that it’s frost-resistant, so it can withstand cold winters.

The ‘Mount Saint Helens Purple’ azalea is an excellent choice for a garden where you don’t want to sacrifice fragrance. Its fragrant, light pink flowers bloom late summer and into fall. Unlike many other purple azaleas, the flowers are resistant to mildew and ‘Mount Saint Helens’ purple azalea bush thrives in dry, shady spots.

Mount Saint Helens’ purple azalea blooms on stolons and is tall and compact. Its flowers have a beautiful golden yellow hue and are very showy. A free online SHOOT garden app allows you to record and share the flowering status of ‘Mount Saint Helens’. You can even record your flowering status in SHOOT!

‘Rhododendron x’

This dwarf rhododendron is the perfect plant for your landscape. It grows to about two feet and bears flowers in light purple. It is a good choice for border plantings and can also be used in a rock garden. This plant thrives in zones 5 through 8, and is easy to care for. It requires acidic soil and partial shade to thrive. Watering: Water rhododendrons every ten to fourteen days.

PJM is a strong-growing, cold-tolerant hybrid with glossy green foliage. Its long-lasting flowers stand out against the dark winter foliage. Despite being smaller than other rhododendron varieties, it is a perfect landscape plant for a hot, sunny spot. This plant has the same tolerant needs as the other rhododendron varieties, so it won’t struggle to grow in your garden.

Despite its dwarf stature, this hardy, evergreen rhododendron has a rich and formal presence in your garden. It looks fantastic in groupings in front of taller shrubs and can act as a mini hedge for perennials. Its compact habit makes it perfect for small city gardens and can hide the bare legs of older Rhododendrons.

‘Fireball hardy’

The Fireball Hardy Azalea bush is a fast-growing, deciduous azalea with striking foliage and flowers. The blooms are a fiery orange and red, with yellow stamens. The foliage is a striking red to deep green and requires little maintenance. Its compact growth habit makes it ideal for smaller gardens. Once it has reached maturity, it will grow to a height of four to six feet.

This azalea grows well in shady locations and can be planted with other azaleas or more heavy-duty shrubs. Its orange-red flowers are attractive to curious hummingbirds and attract beneficial pollinators. Fireball Azaleas bloom all season long and are perfect for planting in the front of the yard. They make great houseplants and can be planted next to any other shrub.

R. schlippenbachii is the most common species in the U.S. and Canada. This plant is a deciduous shrub that is often grown in gardens. The leaves are bright green and turn to a fiery red in fall. The flowers are white with orange-yellow throats and are about three inches across. They’re fragrant and are perfect for any garden.

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