Azalea x 'Karen' (Gable Hybrid)Item #0181 USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9
An unusually hardy and highly reliable evergreen shrub with rich lavender-purple hose-in-hose flowers on a vigorous, upright plant. Foliage turns a brilliant burgundy in the fall. Showiest when planted in groups. An ideal spring blooming foundation shrub for beds and borders.
- DetailBotanical Pronunciation:az-ZAY-lee-uhDeciduous/evergreen:EvergreenGrowth rate:ModerateAverage landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 4 ft. tall, 3 to 5 ft. wide.Foliage color:GreenBlooms:SpringFlower color:Purplish-pinkFlower attributesShowy FlowersDesign IdeasKaren is without a doubt among the most coveted azaleas for front foundation bed planting. It's cherished for position near the front door to call attention in the spring with its exquisite mass of color. Outstanding shrub for all beds and borders and will integrate with nearly every plant sharing the same requirements. Azaleas naturally thrive in the acidic soils beneath natural woodlands or ornamental groves of evergreen and hardwood trees. This is an essential of the Japanese tea garden as a symbol of spring, and is found in gardens throughout Asia.Companion PlantsJapanese Maple (Acer); Hydrangea (Hydrangea); Astilbe (Astilbe); Camellia (Camellia); Mountain Laurel (Kalmia); Clethra (Clethra)
- CareCare InformationThrives in humus-rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soils. Water deeply and regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system; once established, water as needed to maintain evenly moist soil. Feed with an acid fertilizer after bloom. Keep roots cool with a thick layer of mulch.Light Needs:Filtered sunWatering Needs:Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more.
- History & LoreHistory:Karen is a hybrid developed from the species, R. kaempheri, native to volcanic slopes of northern Japan. The species was introduced to the United States via Arnold Arboretum in the 1890s and various American breeders took up breeding domestic cultivars. This is among the Gable Hybrids, produced by Joe Gable who crossed R. kaempheri with R. poukhanense, then added evergreen R. maxwellii as well as a number of early hybrids into his breeding program. Gable introduced dozens of excellent varieties over a period of fifty years from 1920 to 1980, all developed at his nursery in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania.