Container Envy: Eye-catching Ways to Use Encore Azaleas


Often, one sees Encore Azaleas adorning landscapes with their rich color and robust blooms. However, these beauties should not be limited to the flowerbed, when there are many other possibilities to enjoy their reblooming display.

A simple, but impactful way to employ Encore Azaleas outside the landscape is by utilizing containers. Strategic placement of these devices can dress up a patio or porch, enhance a water feature or provide accent color in an existing perennial bed.

Follow these Tips for Encore Azalea Containers in Your Garden

For maximum impact, choose several containers in coordinated colors, textures and sizes to create a low maintenance display that’s easy on the eyes.

Consider using the same hue in a variety of container colors or mix blooms across containers from the same color family. When grouping containers, vary sizes and shapes to more dramatically showcase a collection of Encore Azaleas.

Dwarf Encore Azaleas are a natural choice for containers. These varieties grow more slowly than their taller cousins, and mature around 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. A few are cold hardy in Zone 6, but most are suited for Zones 7 to 9.
Consider incorporating some of the following dwarf varieties of Encore Azalea into your container garden for easy-care beauty spring, summer and fall.

With its glossy green leaves and 3-inch blooms, Autumn Angel™ (Rhododendron ‘Robleg’ PP#15227) provides a striking contrast to boldly-colored containers in lime green or bright blue. For a more subtle display, try pairing these pure-white beauties with a granite gray planter. It matures at 3 feet tall and wide.

Another pale beauty is Autumn Ivory™ (Rhododendron ‘Roblev’ PPIP), which bursts with white flowers in spring, summer and fall. The blooms are 2 inches across and grow on a plant that matures at 2.5 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Blazing red Autumn Bravo™ (Rhododendron ‘Conlen’ PP#11628) may be a dwarf size, but it doesn’t lack impact, delivering an eye-popping hue straight from the tropics. It is cold hardy in zones 6b through 9.

Autumn Carnival™ (Rhododendron ‘Conlet’ PP#12111) is cold hardy in the same zones and matures at 3 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. Its 2.5-inch, semi-double, hot pink flowers evoke the gardens of the South. Tuck a few of these containers near Bougainvillea or other tropical plants for a lush, warm-weather display.

Another semi-double option is siren-red Autumn Embers™ (Rhododendron ‘Conleb’ PP#10581). In Zones 6b through 9, it matures at 3-feet tall and 3.5 feet wide.

Autumn Cheer™ (Rhododendron ‘Conlef’ PP#10579) has a bit more cold hardiness and can thrive in Zones 6a through 9. Maturing at 3 by 3 feet, it features warm-pink flowers that are a delicate 1.25 inches across. Consider Autumn Cheer for smaller planters that will accent its blooms’ diminutive size.

Another cold hardy choice is Autumn Lilac™ (Rhododendron 'Robles' PP#22762). Its 2-inch lavender blooms have darker purple freckles, offering nice dimension and variation. These plants tend toward a natural rounded growth habit and mature at 3-feet tall and 3.5 feet wide.

Last, but not least is Autumn Chiffon™ (Rhododendron ‘Robled’ PP#15862). Maturing at only 2.5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, it boasts 2.75-inch-wide flowers. These soft pink bi-color beauties will remind you of summertime lily blooms.

For more dwarf varieties, care tips or ideas, explore the Encore Azalea site. You’ll find lots of low maintenance, re-blooming solutions for your garden.