Tucker’s Plant of the Week: Azalea x ‘Karen’
Azalea x ‘Karen’ or also known as Rhododendron ‘Karen’ is a broad leaf evergreen shrub. It is commonly called Karen Azalea. For those of you who don’t know, a broad leaf evergreen, unlike a traditional evergreen, looses about half of it’s foliage during the winter months. As you can see, the Karen Azalea can grow to be just a little bit taller than me, that is about 15 to 24 inches tall in the average residential landscape. This species of Azalea dates back to the 1920s, wow that’s probably the same age as my grandpa Kurt!
Other attributes include:
- Easy to maintain
- Does best in partial sun or full shade
- Has beautiful bright fuchsia pink flowers in spring, April/May
- Foliage color in summer is glossy green
- Foliage color in winter is deep burgundy
- Spreading to rounded habit
- Popular in Zen and Asian gardens
The Karen Azalea attracts hummingbirds and butterflies which is wonderful because I like to chase them around the yard, but man those hummingbirds are too fast for my short legs! This plant looks great by the front door to welcome guests. It also does well in acidic soil, so you can plant it under Spruce trees.
Have fun gardening!