8 Best Types of Azaleas for Your Garden

Updated: Jan. 29, 2024

The Azalea Society of America says there are more than 10,000 registered varieties of azaleas. Find the right one for your garden for years of blooms.

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The park is carpeted with white azalea blossoms.
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Conservation Piece Azalea

For pink flowers in spring, plus evergreen foliage for winter interest, plant a Conservation Piece Azalea, Rhododendron x Robin Hill ‘Conversation Piece’. This azalea is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 6 through 9 and only grows two to three feet tall.

Plant it in partial shade, especially during the hottest part of the day, in well-draining and slightly acidic soil. The flowers will appear in spring and range from dark to light pink, all on the same shrub.

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Pink Azalea
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Flame Creeper Dwarf Spreading Azalea

Some azaleas grow quite large. If you need something small — perhaps for a low hedge, to trail over a wall or just to cover a lot of ground — try Rhododendron ‘Flame Creeper’.

While some may value it for its size — around two feet high — others may want it for the orange flowers which appear in late spring. Hardy in USDA Zones 6b through 9a, it can also be grown in containers in colder zones in containers if protected properly. It should grow to three to four feet wide.

Space together for a low hedge, or further apart if you want it to stand out. Like most azaleas, it grows best in well-drained, acidic soil in partial shade. Learn how to care for Rhododendrons.

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Orange Flame Azalea Bloom in Tennessee
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Flame Azalea

Flame Azalea is the common name for Rhododendron calendulaceum, native in North America. Hardy in Zones 5b through 8b, flame azaleas can grow up to 12 feet tall. If that’s too much for your garden but you love the bright orange flowers which appear in mid-spring to early summer, prune it occasionally to keep it closer to six feet tall.

Once planted in partial shade, especially in the afternoons, it requires little additional maintenance.

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Red azalea flowers
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Hino-Crimson Azalea

Do you prefer red flowers over orange? The Hino-Crimson Azalea has red flowers that appear in spring, on plants that grow up to four feet tall and five feet wide.

Almost all azaleas do best in filtered sun. So if you have a wooded garden, the Hino-Crimson azalea would provide a big splash of red color in dappled shade. This azalea also has smaller leaves so it’s often used for bonsai. It also looks great in a garden when you let it grow to its natural size and shape.

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Azalea flower. High angle view of coral colored azalea flower. Spring blossom blooming. Selective Focus on colorful plants
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Electric Lights Double Pink Azalea

Another hardy azalea to try is Electric Lights Double Pink Azalea, best in Zones 4 through 7. The flowers, which appear in mid to late spring, have double pink petals. This particular type will also do well in full sun, which isn’t true for all azaleas. It will slowly grow to a mature height of six to seven feet. To keep it smaller, prune it right after it flowers.

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Pink azalea bushes in bloom during springtime
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Autumn Twist Encore Azalea

There’s a trend in azalea breeding to create varieties that bloom throughout the growing season. Autumn Twist Encore Azalea blooms in spring with two-tone pink flowers and continues to have blooms through the summer and into fall. It also features evergreen foliage. Hardy in Zones 6 through 9, it can tolerate heat and drought once it’s established. It will slowly grow to a mature height of four to five feet.

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Azalea
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Perfecto Mundo Double Purple Azalea

For another type of reblooming azalea, try the Perfecto Mundo series, which includes Perfecto Mundo Double Purple. Hardy in Zones 6 through 9, these will have the most bloom in spring. Then after a brief rest, they produce more blooms from summer until frost.

This is also a smaller azalea with evergreen foliage, topping out at around three feet. It would make a great accent plant in a smaller garden. It grows well in sun to part-shade.

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Vibrant pink azaleas
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Southern Charm Azalea

Some people get their first look at azaleas on the second Sunday in April, when they tune in to watch the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Beautiful azaleas are in full bloom all along the golf course.

If you want azaleas reminiscent of that tournament, plant a row along the edge of your garden. If you live in Zones 8 through 9, consider Southern Charm Azalea, Rhododendron x Southern Charm, just for the name. It will grow to be a big shrub, six to eight feet tall.

Give it some light shade, especially in the afternoon. And enjoy the blooms in spring, just as they are teeing off at Augusta.

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