By Norman Winter
Nothing says spring like pink azaleas. We’re particularly passionate about pink, since the first Encore® Azalea was Autumn Rouge™.
Still a favorite decades later, Autumn Rouge™ – like its namesake in the cosmetic world – adds a dazzling wow to the landscape with countless 2-inch semi-double rich pink blossoms against a backdrop of luscious green foliage.
Today, the Encore® brand boasts a baker’s dozen of pink azaleas that will give you the spring landscape of your dreams. Plus, the show continues until culminating in a fall blooming crescendo, which is why Encore’s Autumn series features the best azaleas on the market.
Autumn Rouge™ has stood the test of time in both beauty and performance, and thus it follows the newest pink selection, Autumn Jewel™, would fare as well. Select Autumn Jewel™, and you’ll swear the 2-inch blooms are iridescent. Your spring landscape will become as festive as Carnival in the Caribbean. Of course, it won’t be just the spring landscape – remember, it is an Encore®.
If the idea of a garden carnival has quickened your pulse rate, then consider partnering Autumn Jewel™ with the dwarf Autumn Carnival™. It may be dwarf – reaching only 3 feet in height – but the blooms are semi-double, and a whopping 3-inches wide. Like Autumn Jewel™, these blooms also seem to glow.
The thirteen pink selections of Encore® Azalea promise to have a shade or color to fit any taste. You’ll find that rare and sought-after warmer pink in Autumn Coral™ and the orange-pink of Autumn Monarch™. If your taste preferences are from the cooler side of pink, then may we suggest Autumn Empress™ or Autumn Sangria™.
If you are looking for a pastel or paler pink that exhibits a look of nostalgic elegance, then Autumn Sweetheart™ and Autumn Debutante™ are your choices. We predict you’ll also enjoy these blooms on moonlight strolls.
We have those with fancy blooms, too, like Autumn Carnation™. Its ruffled pink 2 ½-inch exquisite blossoms show out in the garden, but are also the perfect boutonniere for pinning on that white sports coat.
Many of the Autumn “pink” varieties are cold hardy from zones 6a-10b. They perform best in organic rich, well-drained soil. Compost and organic matter improves tight, heavy soil, allowing for best drainage.
Choose a site with 4- to 6-hours of direct sunlight. Partial sun gardens with high-shifting sunlight are optimal. Plant informal sweeps or clusters of your favorite Autumn pink varieties, grouping similar sizes. All of the pink Encore® Azaleas will look stunning with purple selections like Autumn Royalty™ and Autumn Amethyst™. Then, add a-splash of white from Autumn Angel™ or Autumn Moonlight™, and you’ll have that postcard moment.
If there were an official color of the spring landscape, it would have to be pink. Fortunately, the Encore series has thirteen wonderful opportunities to make your landscape a living portrait from spring through fall.
Need more tips? Here, you can find everything you need to know about selecting, growing and landscaping with these award-winning azaleas.