Evergreen Azalea kaempferi Firefly

Evergreen Azalea kaempferi Firefly

Item: AKAEFIR

unavailable Unavailable

Flowering Month:
May
Flower Colour:
Orange
Hardiness:
To -20 °C
Height After 10 Years:
75-100cm
Scent:
Not Scented
Interesting Foliage:
No

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Lovely orange flowers in May. A very hardy plant from Japan which is semi evergreen in hard winters. Height 75-90cm in 10 years.


kaempferi is the most common native azalea of Japan and is treated as a species. It has proved to be an important parent in the development of hardy evergreen azaleas. 


  • Ideal for small gardens.
  • Easy to grow.
  • Group:Evergreen Azalea (Kyushu Group).
  • Parentage: selection from kaempferi
  • Hybridization date: unknown
  • Bred by: unknown. Origin: Japanese.
  • Habit: upright.
  • Ideal position: Most garden situations.
  • Ideal soil: pH 4.5 to 6.
  • RHS Hardiness Rating: H6.
  • How we usually propagate this plant: Cutting.

Good to know

From a botanical point of view, evergreen azaleas are part of the rhododendron family, but typically they only have 5-7 stamens in the flowers instead of 11-13 stamens present in other rhododendrons. Evergreen azaleas, sometimes known as Japanese azaleas, are as popular as ever, and are ideal for any size of garden from a window box to a large estate. Most azaleas grow to 60-75 cm in 10 years, but look out for our speciality nakaharae azaleas which are late flowering, prostrate, and excellent for cascading over walls or tubs.

Some of the first evergreen azaleas were introduced by Ernest Wilson (Wilson’s 50) from Japan at the beginning of the twentieth century. These small flowered varieties are full of character, best seen at the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park where they look delightful. However, these early plants are not as hardy as modern varieties such as those bred in Northern Germany. Other breeders, particularly in America, have concentrated on breeding larger flowers which can certainly look impressive. Our range should not be compared to the R. indica types which are sold as houseplants and are not fully hardy outside.

All require good moist ericaceous soil with a high organic content. For a guide to plant spacing, use the height we give in 10 years as a guide to the distance between each plant, or approximately 3 plants per m². Plant no deeper than the top of the rootball, and dig in plenty of good ericaceous compost around the sides.  A teaspoon of slow release feed is sufficient for a 3 litre plant, rising to a small handful for a mature plant.  Evergreen azaleas are suitable for growing in pots and containers; re-pot every 3 years for best performance.


Please note:Rabbits and deer like the soft new growth of evergreen azaleas, so netting protection may be necessary some years.

 

For further advice, For further advice, see here

The Basics

Ideal soil

Acidic soil, good organic content, pH 4.5-6.0. Inkarho range of rhododendrons will tolerate soils up to pH7.5

Sun or Shade

Light dappled shade is best for most varieties.

Shelter

Refer to hardiness rating. Give young plants protection.

Site Selection

Avoid close to trees, roots, invasive weeds, walls, hot patios, dry banks and waterlogged soils. Do not use weed matting or stone mulch

Plant spacing

Use the height shown in 10 years as a guide to the distance between each plant. Allow room for plant to fill out. If planting closer for instant impact, be prepared to move plants after a few years.

Compost

  • 3 litre pot, dig in 10-20 litres of ericaceous compost.
  • 7.5 litre pot, dig in 20-30 litres of ericaceous compost.
  • 70-80cm specimen, dig in 60 litres of ericaceous compost.
  • 100-120cm specimen, dig in 120 litres of ericaceous compost.

Planting depth

Plant high in the ground, with the top of the rootball visible.

Feeding

Slow-release ericaceous feed recommended in March and straight after flowering.

Mulch

Recommended every few years.

Water

The key ingredient! Keep moist all season, especially the critical time at end of June for flower bud initiation. Tap water is better than no water. Heavy dose at least once per week in dry weather.

Drainage

Ensure good drainage in winter, especially with yellow varieties. Avoid waterlogged sites.

Pruning

Not normally required. Tidy wayward shoots after flowering. Evergreen azaleas and Bloombux can be clipped into a low hedge.

Deadheading

Remove old flower-heads, particularly on young or weak plants.


For further advice see here

Size Guide

Size guide

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