- Type Shrub
- Lifespan Perennial, 100+ years
- USDA Zones 4-9
- Light Shade, filtered sun
- Companions Ferns, camelias, pieris
- Best Use Woodland planting
- Design Tip Brighten dark corner
- Other Uses Potted topiary
- Peak Season Spring flowers
Azalea: A Field Guide
The smallest member of the rhododendron family, azalea has thousands of varieties, falling into two main categories—evergreen and deciduous—that can thrive in a wide range of climates.
Every spring azalea bounds forth with a profusion of colorful blooms. But in days past the shrub symbolized caution: Its toxicity was once so well known that to receive an azalea bouquet was a veiled threat of death. Today azalea festivals are held worldwide, celebrating the varied blooms of red, purple, pink, white, and yellow.