Girard's Purple Azalea
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Celebrate spring! Girard’s Purple Azalea captures the spirit of this sublime season. When the birds are singing their hearts out and the scent of Wisteria and freshly cut grass is in the air, this dazzling Accent joins in on the festivities with a jubilant display. Scrumptious, rosy purple flowers erupt all over its fine-textured branches. The jewel-tone blooms sparkle in a mesmerizing way. During the rest of the year, Girard’s Purple contributes sleek sophistication to the landscape with handsome foliage that holds on throughout the winter months. Use it as a low hedge, foundation plant, or single specimen for four-season appeal.
Girard’s Purple Azalea arose near the shores of Lake Erie, about 50 miles east of Cleveland. Peter Girard, Sr. founded Girard Nurseries in Geneva, Ohio, in 1946 and soon began breeding Azaleas. His aim was to develop plants that not only looked pretty, but would thrive in northern gardens. Using Joe Gable’s hardy Azaleas as a starting point, he and his son Peter, Jr. came up with some 56 new selections, several of which have become customer favorites. Girard’s Purpleis one of the best. It was introduced in 1971.
Autumn color, too! Girard’s Purple Azalea delivers more than just ravishing blossoms. When nights get cool, this dynamic Accent heats up. Its deep green leaves take on wine-red tones in October, and the color holds for weeks.
How to Grow
Azaleas appreciate a little pampering. They thrive when shielded from hot summer sun and given moist but well-drained, acidic soil. They never like to dry out but don’t care for soggy conditions, either. Azaleas can “burn” from harsh chemical fertilizers, so feed with a gentle organic product like Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer. Azalea lace bug can sometimes be an issue, but specimens grown in optimal conditions in most cases will remain healthy and resistant to attack. If pruning is necessary, trim your Girard’s Purple Azalea immediately after blooming, as next year’s flower buds are formed in summer.
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