Azaleas are comparable among plants for their vivid colors, ranging from white, pink, red, purple, yellow, and orange. Beyond admirable to the human sight, they are easy to care for, grow, and require little plant maintenance, adding brightness to your backyard.
Across the world, Azaleas have major significance, especially in Asia, where most delightful varieties originated. The common names are Azalea or Rose Bay, whereas the botanical name is Rhododendron.
Azaleas flowers are funnel-shaped, two-lipped, and aromatic. The deciduous blooming shrubs of the genus Rhododendron blossom in early spring and preserve for almost three weeks before shedding their leaves. Azaleas are short-period flowering plants surviving over six weeks of blooming.
Since Azaleas comprise grayanotoxins, which are poisonous or toxic shrubs in variants, they treat arthritis, cavities, itch, maggots, and severe injuries. They are mainly planted for their delightful blossoming and ornamental functionalities. Flowers of Azaleas contain sleep-inducing, pain-relieving, and anesthetic in nature. The root of Azaleas is even used in the treatment of rheumatism.
You will find suitable companions for Azaleas as you keep reading this article.
Why do Azaleas Need Companion Plants?
Companion plantings are planting divergent plants in closeness to each other. They work to improve soil nutrients and drive off pests, thus creating a healthy ecosystem by making them more vigorous and lush.
Azaleas are most commonly found in the gardens of Washington and West Virginia. A garden is incomplete without diversity, so a good gardener must plant companion plants here.
The benefits of growing companion plants with azaleas help your garden stay alive with a collection of beautiful flowering plants. However, the wrong kind of planting, on the other hand, can spoil your plants and spoil the beauty of your garden.
What Are The Best Companion Plants For Azaleas?
Spring beauty azaleas are fascinating; nevertheless, companion plantings add breathtaking benefits.
Here we will discuss a few companion plants ranging from large trees, shrubs, or perennial plants that bring gardening to the next level.
1. Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are an excellent companion for azaleas as they help provide more shade. They are perennials that sprout in spring. They store their energy from their roots and die in winter. Cloud grass, Feather reed grass, Crimson fountain grass, etc.
2. Dogwood Trees
American Dogwood is a flowering tree in the family of Cornaceae. Commonly found in white and pink, which is popular too. It starts flowering in late March and mid-May. Its bark and roots are used in treating malaria.
Azaleas complement Dogwood by bringing alluring textures, color, depth, and long-term horticultural interest. Its popular varieties are common Dogwood, mountain dogwood, Kousa Dogwood, Cornelian cherry, and Canadian bunchberry.
3. Coral Bells
Autumn leaves chocolate ruffles, green spice, and marmalade with popular varieties and colors containing mauve, pink, bronze, bright lime, green, and pewter-gray. Flowers are tiny white, pink, or red. Azaleas are good compliments to coral bells. They bloom from early summer to midsummer. They possess woody bases producing little bell-shaped blooms.
4. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel comes in a variety of sizes, from enormous bushes to little trees. Its flowers are dark to pale yellow, red, or orange. They are ornamental flowering plants, valued for the vital essence that shows up in the winter. They even bloom and fall, making them the best Azaleas companions.
Soapwort is a herbaceous perennial fragrant plant of the Caryophyllaceae family. Available in white, pink, or purple flowers with popular variants such as Boston pink, Bouncing Bet, Fuller’s herb, rock soapwort, and Wild Sweet William. It also has medicinal properties, such as bronchitis, cough, and cancer. Flowering takes place from June to September.
6. Plantain Lily / Hostas
Possibly found in Blue, lavender, or white trumpet-shaped blossoms; wide range of vegetative. It blooms between May and September for three weeks, depending on its varieties as Blue Mouse Ears, Golden Tiara, Whirlwind, and Komodo Dragon. Hostas and Azaleas add a rich, elegant appearance. Since they are slug and snail resistant, which makes it every gardener desires.
Columbines are perennial plants found in meadows, woodland, and higher altitudes. Available in many colors, including red, yellow, blue, white, pink, and purple blooms from mid-spring to early summer.
Their popular varieties include Crimson Star, McKana Hybrid, Rocky Mountain, and Clementine Salmon Rose. Planting them with Azaleas will attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies. Columbines are deadly poisonous.
The best companion plants are those which share many of their basic requirements. Round and oval-shaped evergreen shrubs from the Buxaceae family. They are commonly grown in ornamental gardens since they feature abundant flowering with less maintenance. Boxwoods also acts as a sheltering plant for Azaleas.
Blueberries are the best azalea companion plants. They are perennial plants with blue and purple pest-free berries. Their sweet-tasting nectar is an excellent pollinator, attracting hummingbirds and bees, further boosting berry production.
Their types include Golden Daffodils in yellow and orange, pink daffodils in coral, peach, and apricot colors, and white daffodils in pale yellow, fading to creamy white. They flourish in the early spring. If planted, they bloom each year with little maintenance.
11. Barberry Bushes
These easy-grown shrubs are eye-catching to the garden when put together with azaleas. The popular varieties are Golden Barberry, Crimson Pygmy, Rose Glow, Sunjoy citrus, and Colors containing Yellow or green foliage and yellow or orange flowers. Their bloom time is late spring.
12. Bleeding Heart
The perennial blooming plant in the poppy family shows up in Pink, Red, and White colors. The bleeding heart dies away in summer and returns in early spring with its delicate stems of crimson hangings, red pendant, and heart-shaped flowers. Azaleas provide proper shady conditions for bleeding hearts as good companions.
These are pink and white-colored hybrid flowers with golden leaves from the honeysuckle family that blooms in summer until late autumn. Abelias are excellent companions for azaleas because of their magnificent flocking buds that contribute to the attractiveness of your yard.
Camellias or Japanese Camellias are available in red, white, or pink; they bloom from late autumn to early winter. Camellia leaves have high levels of anti-inflammatory terpenoids similar to squalene and lupeol.
Besides being native to China, it is traditionally used to cure stomach sickness, bleeding, and inflammation. Camellia oils are rich in Vitamin A, encouraging healthy skin, Vitamin D for repairing new cells; and Vitamin E for moisture locking.
The pink, purple, red, and white perennial rhizome plants bloom from late spring to late summer, adding attractiveness to your garden. Planting Azaleas near Astilbe under the shade of a pine tree is beneficial.
As members of the health family, cranberries are both edible and have medical uses. Cranberry trees benefit from the pollination that azaleas bring in. Azalea and cranberry combine to form a harmonious couple.
Worst Companion Plants For Azaleas
Here are some of the plants you should completely avoid growing with Azalea.
1. Black Walnut
Azaleas are not immune to or highly sensitive to contact with Black Walnut, which produces a high concentration of the Juglone chemical, wherein lesser concentrations are found in leaves and stems. Therefore, it is better to isolate black walnut nut since it hinders the growth of other plants or trees.
They are herb soil preferring alkaline in nature; dry soil type further needs more exposure to sunlight. In contrast, Azaleas contain acidic, moist soil with minimum shade. It has only one similarity, i.e., the well-draining of the earth. Consequently, these two plants are unsuitable for planting together.
What Are Azaleas’ Growing Requirements?
Bonsai azaleas will grow about 2 to 3 feet in height, while when placed in gardens, azaleas grow 4 to 6 feet in height.
- Air and Weather: Azalea’s growth could be more active when they are placed in humid and mild climate conditions.
- Soil type: The soil azaleas demand well-drained, humus-rich, neutral to acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0.
- Fertilizer: They have low nutritional requirements as compared to other shrubs. Nitrogen and Sulfur are the two most active fertilizers for fast growth. Avoid fertilizing before blooming.
- Pruning: Pruning the deciduous azaleas when they are sluggish and leafless. Considerable pruning is advised in the late winter and early spring.
Grass Diseases And Pests
The key to preventing illnesses, pests, and fungus issues is to have a healthy garden. The proper place for any flourishing plants is to have a convenient amount of soil PH, healthy air circulation, and healthy soil. Neem Oil is a good solution for any fungal problems. Here are some lists of the prevalent issues affecting azaleas.
Some of The Common Pests Includes:
- Azalea Caterpillars
- Azalea Lace Bugs
- Azalea Bark Scale
- Azalea Leafminers
- Stunt Nematode
Some of The Diseases Includes:
- Azalea Gall
- Powdery Mildew
- Twig Blight
- Petal Blight
Other Azalea Problems:
- Flowers Dropping Off Azaleas
- Swelling in the leaf
Azaleas are shown to be equally or even more lovely when planted with companion plants. You may complement the beauty of azaleas by placing their partners around them.
They will all enhance the beauty of your garden, adding color and shape. Here’s a proverb: “Preventions is better than cure”- taking certain precautions is advisable before planting Azaleas.
Which one of these gorgeous plants would you want to include in your garden?