More about Don's Variegated Rhododendron...
There are very few variegated native azaleas and Don's Variegated, with its bright green leaves with creamy marbled flecks, is one of them. But it's the bright orange blooms of this Austrinum variety that really steal the show!
Don's Variegated is one of the first to show color in the spring, usually starting to flower in late March and early April, producing an abundant trusses of large, fragrant, bright orange flowers borne before and while the leaves are emerging in spring. It tolerates heavy frost, freezing temperatures, drought, and hot and/or humid conditions so is a perfect selection for gardens in the South.
Don's Variegated is perfect for use as a large shrub or small, understory tree in woodland borders or other areas of the landscape that provide dappled shade or morning sun with afternoon shade. Use it as a specimen or plant several in a cluster.
Care Instructions for Native Azaleas
Native Azaleas are low maintenance shrubs that require little attention once they are established.
Soil - Native azaleas prefer an acid (4.5 to 5.5), well-drained, moist but not wet, soil rich in organic matter, such as natural leaf mold, mushroom compost, composted cowe manure, or your own homemade compost. All day dappled shade or morning sun with afternoon shade is preferable. As the plant is establishing itself during the first year after planting make sure to provide water during times of summer drought.
Fertilizer - Fertilize plants just after they've bloomed with an azalea and camellia type fertilizer or an organic plant food. Mulching with a two-inch layer of aged shredded wood mulch or fresh-pine straw will help retain moisture during the warm season and will also decompose into rich organic matter that will feed the plant.
Pruning - Native azaleas do not rquire pruning however respond well to it. If you need to shape the plant up a little trim or prune right after they are finished blooming. Native Azaleas need a moist, but not wet, soil rich in organic matter ( leaf mold, rotted sawdust, compost or peat moss are examples).A shifting sun and shade situation as under pines is ideal for their light requirements.ulch to conserve moisture with any organic material such as peanut hulls, pine bark or straw, etc.
Problems - Native Azaleas are generally free of insect and disease problems.
Most Helpful Reviews
Unusual variegated foliageAugust 8th 2014
Very attractive azalea, even out of bloom. Although I won't experience flowering until next year, I'm very impressed with the photos. Further, the plant arrived in very vigorous health and larger than expected. It's very happy in its new home and rooting in nicely. I'm always very satisfied with the quality of the plants I buy at Gardener Direct, as well as the service and packaging and shipping. Prices are not unreasonable for these reasons. Thanks!
Reply from Gardener Direct:
Hi Robert - You're very welcome and thanks a bunch for taking the time to provide your review. We're happy the quality of the azalea exceeded your expectations and that its happy in its new home and rooting in already! Let us know if there's ever anything else we can help you with. We're at your service!