Azalea Tri-Lights flowers in April/ May and are a light pink with white overtones and yellow blotch. The aroma is rich and spicy. Long narrow leaves bronze during summer and turn purple-red with tones of orange and yellow in autumn.
|Mature Height:||3 to 4 feet|
|Mature Width:||3 to 4 feet|
|Classification:||Broad Leaved deciduous shrub, Summer flowering|
|Sunlight:||Full Sun to Part Shade|
|Habit:||Upright, great for naturalizing|
|Foliage:||Bronze-Green turning purple red in the Fall|
|Flower Color:||Pink with a yellow eye. Spicy fragrance|
|Pruning Season:||Prune in late summer after flowering but rarely needed|
|Soil Condition:||Any well drained slightly acidic soil|
|Water Requirements:||Water well until established|
|Uses:||Tolerates moist soil and partial shade or full sun. Full sun brings out the best fall color. Will adapt to drier sites|
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Azalea Tri-Lights plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots of Azalea Tri-Lights to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole.
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Azalea Tri-Lights a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks.
Azalea's such as Azalea Tri-Lights grow best if they are fertilized lightly in the spring once frost has passed with a well-balanced, extended-release, fertilizer such as Espoma Holly-tone. Fertilize Azalea Tri-Lights again 6 to 8 weeks later to encourage extra flowers or faster growth of young shrubs. Either chemical fertilizers or organic matter can be used successfully with Azaleas. Since an organic method of applying manure and/or compost around the roots, produces excellent results and also improves the condition of the soil, this would be an excellent first line of attack. Organic additions to the soil can also be combined with a shot of chemical fertilizer for maximum effect. If chemical fertilizers are used on your Azalea Tri-Lights, applying a slow-release, balanced fertilizer once a year is probably the simplest solution. There are many slow-release fertilizers on the market. If you can find a fertilizer formulated for shrubs and trees, this fertilizer would work well on Azaleas. However, slow-release is certainly not the only way to fertilizer Azaleas such as Azalea Tri-Lights. A less expensive fast release fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 will work just as well if applied twice during the early spring and very early summer. If you are looking for a fertilizing routine tailored to your specific conditions, a soil sample should be taken and the fertilizer and trace elements matched to the needs of your soil. Do not fertilize Azalea Tri-Lights after August. Fall is the time for Azalea's to begin preparing for dormancy. Fertilizing at this time may stimulate new growth that will be too tender to withstand the winter. In the South, a late May application and another in Late July would be about right. More northern areas may wish to fertilize only once in June. The amount of chemical fertilizer used per plant will vary with the size of the plant and it's root system. Over-fertilization can be much more detrimental than under-fertilization. "Fertilizer burn" can occur when too much fertilizer is applied, resulting in a drying out of the fine hair-like roots and damage or even death of the Azalea Tri-Lights. It is much, much better to err on the side of too little fertilizer than too much. When roots are burned, the first sign is often scorched looking leaves. If over-fertilization is severe, the plant may just wilt and die. Never fertilize a plant with a chemical fertilizer if the plant looks sick or wilted. If a plant is struggling due to a disease or root problems, the fertilizer will only add stress to it's life. Try to cure the problem before adding fertilizer. When looking at most fertilizers, they are described by three numbers on the bag. An example would be 10-10-10 or 12-4-8. The first of these three numbers refers to Nitrogen, which is the primary element necessary for good, balanced growth within the Azalea Tri-Lights. Plants that are deficient in Nitrogen are usually not growing vigorously. Not all Nitrogen deficiencies result in stunted growth. Sometimes, the growth is taller and longer with less than desirable branching when Nitrogen is deficient. Plants will sometimes also produce less flowers as a result of too much nitrogen. The second number in the fertilizer equation is representative of Phosphorus. A deficiency of Phosphorus may affect the energy transfer in the plant, and result in stunted growth as well. Also, plants with insufficient amounts of Phosphorus may have poorer root systems. Potassium is the element represented by the third number on the fertilizer bag. Plants that are deficient in Potassium, are usually growing more slowly than normal, have fewer flowers and seed, and are more susceptible to disease than plants with adequate levels of Potassium. Although the three elements just mentioned are the major elements necessary for good plant performance, there some minor elements that are just as important in consideration of azalea nutrition. Minor elements that are not included in the three numbers listing on the front of fertilizer bags are very important considerations when choosing your Azalea fertilizer. Elements such as Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Boron, and Molybdenum play very important roles in providing plants with adequate nutrition. Many times, less expensive fertilizers are sold that contain only the major elements needed, but not the minor elements. Always be sure to look on the fertilizer label on the back of the bag to see exactly what is included in the fertilizer. In choosing the basic type of fertilizer for your Azalea Tri-Lights, it is important to determine what you want your Azalea Tri-Lights to do. If your plants are well established, and you are not concerned about more growth, choose a fertilizer that has a smaller first number, and a larger second and third number. When you have selected your fertilizer and are ready to apply it, be sure to rake your mulch back to the drip line of each plant being careful to not disturb the tender surface roots. Apply the fertilizer according to the label directions immediately on top of the soil, and be sure to water the plant thoroughly after the application. You can then rake the mulch back around the base of the Azalea Dragon Fire. Although it is tempting to spend less time by not raking the mulch back during fertilization, the results will be less than desirable, if the fertilizer is applied on top of the mulch. Proper fertilization of your Azalea Tri-Lights will lead to healthier and more disease resistant plants, as well as provide you with many more enjoyable blooms. Always, read the label on your fertilizer bag, and follow the instructions.
We highly recommend that you mulch your Azalea Tri-Lights with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant.
Azalea Tri-Lights commonly known as Deciduous Azalea are closely related to our native azaleas. This deciduous shrub is known for its brilliant summer display of cheery pink blooms, in early to mid summer. The flowers bloom on the previous season's growth, so you must wait to prune until blooms expire to avoid cutting off the developing flower buds. In general gardening terms, pruning is probably the most misunderstood gardening chore, and certainly, the chore that is most likely neglected. When we specifically look at pruning with regards to Azaleas, this misunderstanding and negligence can be magnified. Pruning has been described as a “combination of art and science.” I find pruning to be one of the most relaxing yet rewarding chores in the garden. Pruning a specific plant to look a specific way, involves art in creating a unique definition for a specific plant, and it involves science in understanding the physical growing habits of the plant to be pruned. The most important reason for pruning Azaleas is to improve the overall health of the plant which in turn will reward you with a plethora of blooms. Many times, Azaleas that have not been pruned in a few years will develop dead or degenerative twigs. Removing the dead and dying limbs will minimize the possibility of diseases such as “dieback” and will also allow the plant to re-concentrate its energies and produce flowers. Another reason for pruning Azalea Tri-Lights is that it may outgrow its intended size in the landscape, and must be pruned to re-define its purpose. Pruning should always be associated with re-invigorating a plant by allowing it to focus its energies on producing more vigorous branches, foliage, and flowers. It is also important to understand the specific growing characteristic of a certain Azaleas when pruning that particular plant. When pruning established Azaleas where no labeling is present on a variety to identify it, you need to look at the general growth patterns of the plant to be pruned. These observations should give you a good idea of how the plant tends to grow, and also how and when you should prune the plant. If severe, pruning is necessary, it must be realized that the plant will shift its focus in the short-run from setting flower buds to growing vigorously, and it is very likely that the Azalea Dragon Fire will have few if any bloom buds during the season following the major pruning. During the second season following the severe pruning, the gardenia should resume normal bud setting, and the plant should have healthier blooms because of the increased vigor in the plant. It is important to always use sharp tools when pruning Azaleas or any plant for that matter. Knives, hand cutters, saws, and shears should be sharpened if necessary before pruning any plant. A sharp cut will heal quicker than a jagged cut, which will also minimize the likelihood of disease investing a cut during pruning. It is generally recommended to not use power equipment such as gas hedgers to prune Azaleas. Pruning large Azaleas may be minor or major. Its general purpose is to maintain or restore vigor to the plant. Large Azaleas that have been severely pruned have the advantage of a large root system that has excessive capacity, and its roots are capable of supplying all of its energies to a smaller number of branches and foliage. This enables the plant to increase its vigor, and become healthier. Pruning large azaleas that are well established will enable the plant to have continued vigor, and lead to many more years of supplying beauty to the landscape.