Azaleas in bloom are a sure sign that spring has arrived here in Savannah. One of the first ornamental shrubs to bloom when the weather starts to warm here in the Hostess City, they bring a burst of color to an otherwise dull landscape in February and March.
Azaleas, along with southern magnolias, are the two plants that epitomize the South and it’s no wonder that we see them all over social media and even on magazine covers this time of year.
Easily cared for, the queens of the spring season are perfect additions to your yard or flower garden, too. Because they come in an assortment of colors and sizes, they are versatile plants in your home landscape. The variety of size, bloom time and color make azaleas a wonderful asset in a garden of any size, and with the necessary attention to soil, light, and proper selection, azaleas can be grown with ease here in Savannah or anywhere the South.
Oddly, azaleas are in the same family as blueberries, and are one of about 800 species of Rhododendron. Their colors vary from white, pink, lavender, violet and orange to a deep red. With proper planning, your spring yard-garden can be filled with beautiful blooming azaleas from late February through the end of May.
According to the knowledgeable folks at Clemson Cooperative Extension, Azaleas prefer cool, partially shaded sites, such as the filtered shade of pine trees. Although some varieties tolerate sun better than others, they all prefer an area that is not exposed to long periods of hot full sun and their flowers last longer when plants are partially shaded.
Azaleas are one of the most popular and rewarding plants in the Southern garden and since they’re so easy to grow, almost anyone can be successful…no matter what color your thumb is.
Spring comes early here in Savannah…and the beautiful blooming color comes along with it.