Rhododendron arborescens (Sweet Azalea) Unity Grown

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Rhododendron arborescens, also called sweet or smooth azalea, is an upright, woody shrub that grows to 8-12' tall, occasionally reaching larger heights of up to 20'. From May to July, sweet azalea produces large, white or yellow showy flowers with long, trailing, pink or reddish pistils and stamens. Flowers are fragrant, sticky to the touch, and are attractive to butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Like other rhododendrons, smooth azalea is sensitive to soil moisture, pH, and light, and grows best in moist but well-drained, acidic, and organically rich soils on the sandier side. Rhododendron arborescens tolerates some shade, but not as much as some deep forest species and, as such, prefers part shade like that found in forest margins or open forest environments. Sweet azalea may be a finicky plant for the home garden, but when its optimal growth conditions are met, Rhododendron aborescens works excellently as a show-stopping multi-season border screen or specimen planting with showy spring flowers, beautiful green summer foliage, and striking orange, crimson, and purple fall colors.

Straight Species, Native to U.S., and Native to Maryland
Mature Plant Height:
Deciduous
Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Medium and Well-drained
Soil Type: Rich Organic Matter, Acidic, and Sand
Bloom Time: Spring and Summer
Flower Color: White, Yellow, and Pink
Foliage color: Green
Features: Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Attracts Pollinators, Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths, Keystone Plant, Fragrant, and Fall Color
Tolerances: Black Walnut Tolerant and Rabbit Tolerant
Garden Type: Pollinator Garden, Woodland Garden, Small Space, and Specimen Tree

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