These hybrid azaleas come from New Jersey, USA, and were developed by Robert Gartrell. The aim was to select and further breed cultivars with the best performace, extending their flowering period and keeping majority of leaves in winter monthsDorothy Hayden has medium to large, open flowers of white colour with light green blotch. It has quite compact, slow growth and does not need to be pruned.
Slightly glossy leaves are dark green, ovate, small. In semi-shade and shade they are evergreen, but still less sensitive to sun than other Japanese azaleas.
Japanese azaleas can be clipped to shapes in early June. If so, do not use fertilizers enhancing growth rate. The size of new branches would get out hand and spoil the shape you are going to achieve. They need light, permeable soil that is acid, constantly moist (keep azaleas mulched at all times) and moderately fertile. Use fertilizers for rhododendrons and azaleas, or ericaceous plants. The best soil mix is 1/3 of peat, 1/3 of leaf-mould or lime-free compost, and 1/3 of soil from the hole where you are going to plant it. Azaleas have shallow roots, so do not plant not too deep. They are fully hardy to about -29°C (USDA zone 5).
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