Gibraltar Exbury Azalea
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Construction-zone orange never looked so inviting! Gibraltar Exbury Azalea is a sassy Accent with blooms that are outrageously, gorgeously, fantastically ORANGE. People in passing airplanes will look down in wonder and amazement. Unfurling in late spring, the big, ruffled blossoms cover the branches and the newly emerging foliage, making it look as if the whole plant is on fire. The warm orange glow is just the thing to wake up your mixed borders, patio plantings, or woodland edges. Be careful about planting it in your front yard—a traffic jam may ensue when passersby get a glimpse of these bodacious blooms!
Deciduous Azaleas are the showboats of late spring, decadent Accents that offer delightful, funnel-shaped flowers in a rainbow of colors. Many of these are hybrid selections, carefully bred from among several different species from Asia and America. Gibraltar Deciduous Azalea is one such hybrid Azalea. Gardeners have enjoyed it since 1947. Legendary British plantsman Anthony Waterer made the initial cross at his Knap Hill Nursery. Edmund Leopold de Rothschild of Exbury further developed the plant, and Gibraltar is now usually called an “Exbury Hybrid,” even though that is only half of the story.
But wait, there’s more! Many Deciduous Azaleas supply not only sensational spring flowers but also striking fall color, and Gibraltar is no exception. When nights turn frosty, this star takes the stage again, putting on a brilliant show of gold and orange foliage.
How to Grow
Deciduous Azaleas aren’t hard to grow, but it can be a little tricky to keep them looking sharp throughout the season. One issue they have is powdery mildew, which doesn’t kill the plant, but leaves a white film on the foliage. Gibraltar Exbury Azalea shows good resistance to powdery mildew. To further guard against this affliction, provide your plant with the best possible growing conditions. Avoid extremes—give it good light but no hot afternoon sun, moist but not soggy soil, good air circulation but no strong winds. In addition, the soil should be rich with organic matter, well-drained, and acidic. Mulch to conserve moisture.
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