Orange Azalea Facts
Azaleas are flowering shrubs making up part of the genus Rhododendron. Azaleas bloom in spring, and their flowers wilt only a few weeks later. They do not need as much sun as other plants; they live near trees and sometimes under them. Azalea is also the flower of the astrology symbol Sagittarius.
Orange-flowering azaleas come in an intense orange color to a light salmon orange color. Some orange blossom varieties are Don's Variegated, Double Pleasure, Chickasaw, Florida Flame Orange, Sagittarius, Great Expectations and Bill Bullard.
The "orange group" of the native azaleas includes five main species: Rhododendron austrinum, R. calendulaceum, R. cumberlandense, R. flammeum, and R. prunifolium. Flowers in this group can range from yellow, through orange, to deep red.
Some of these plants are easy to distinuish because of fragrance or the season of bloom. Others, however, require close inspection to help to distinguish between the species.
|sun exposure||sun to partial shade|
|danger||all parts of plant are poisonous if ingested|
|bloom color||orange,red orange|
|bloom time||late spring/early summer|
|other details||average water needs,water regularly;don't over water|
|seed collecting||N/A,plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed|
Characteristics of orange Azaleas:
Orange azalea plants produce clusters (called "trusses," technically) of funnel-shaped, bright orange flowers with ruffled petals in May (in my zone 5 garden). Flowers precede leaves. Plants are said to achieve a height of 5-6 feet after 10 years; with their upright growth habit, the width tends to be less than the height.
Plant Taxonomy of orange Azaleas:
Plant taxonomy classifies these orange azaleas as Rhododendron 'Gibraltar.' The name is usually written as Rhododendron x 'Gibraltar' (the insertion of the "x" in the name calls attention to the fact that this is a hybrid plant). The shrub is part of the Exbury group of hybrids. The parents of Exbury hybrids are of diverse geographical origins. Gibraltar azalea is a deciduous flowering shrub.
Because of these orange azaleas bear colorful flowers in spring, some like to use these bushes as foundation plants. As deciduous shrubs, however, they will provide neither a buffer to cold winds nor a point of visual interest in winter. Therefore, they would not be my first choice in a foundation planting.
Care for orange azaleas:
Proper orange azalea care begins at planting time. Because they are shallow-rooted bushes, dig a wide planting hole when installing these orange azaleas. Preparing a hole of generous width will give the root system friable soil into which they may expand.
Water well during the first couple of years or so, to help the plants become established. There's a tricky balance to keep between sufficient watering and overwatering, but the latter is much easier to avoid if you ensure that the soil is well-drained