• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Filtered sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 4 ft. tall, 3 to 5 ft. wide.
    Key Feature:
    Showy Spring Flowers
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:az-ZAY-lee-uh
    Plant type:Shrub, Rhododendron
    Growth rate:Moderate
    Average landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 4 ft. tall, 3 to 5 ft. wide.
    Foliage color:Green
    Flower color:Purplish-pink
    Flower attributesShowy Flowers
    Garden styleAsian/Zen, Cottage
    Design 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)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Thrives 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:
    <strong>Partial Sun / Partial Shade</strong>: These two terms are often used interchangeably to mean 3-6 (or 4-6) hours of sunlight each day. However, there is a difference.
<strong>Partial shade</strong> typically means the plants will appreciate a more gentle exposure such as the weaker morning or early afternoon sun, with the emphasis on providing the minimum needed shade and sheltering from intense late afternoon sun. <strong>Partial sun</strong> typically means the plants <u>need</u> some direct sun, so the emphasis is on meeting the required minimum hours of sunlight, with filtered sunlight or shade the balance of the day.
Both are best with shelter from the harshest late afternoon sun. This shade could be provided by a structure, a wall, larger plants or  tree(s).
    Filtered sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Moderate
    Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.
  • History & Lore
    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.


Better Ways to Use Azaleas
In our continuing series of perfectly lovely plants that get no respect because they perform so well they've become ubiquitous, we turn to what is arguably one of the more...
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