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 re-blooming 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.

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.