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Immensely popular—and once you see it, you’ll know why! Every year at the height of spring, this dependable Accent smothers itself in masses of voluptuous fuchsia-pink flowers. You can’t see the branches because of all the blooms! After the show is over, Karen remains an asset in the landscape with its bright green foliage and dense, compact habit. It makes a splendid low hedge, specimen, or foundation plant in lightly shaded gardens. Where winters aren’t too brutal, it will hold onto its leaves well into the cold season as well.
Joseph Gable, born in 1886, grew up on his family’s farm in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania—just north of the Maryland border and 40 miles from Baltimore. After returning from World War I in 1919, Gable resumed farming, but he soon lost interest in growing potatoes and hay and developed a new passion—breeding Azaleas. He threw himself into his work, developing scores of novel plants for the public to enjoy. Between 1927 and 1972, he introduced 164 fine new Azaleas. For its flower power and adaptability, Karen is one of Joe Gable’s most acclaimed selections.
Fall color, too! Karen Azalea puts on a lovely second performance when the weather turns cool. Its leaves turn a rich garnet-red color, and the show lasts a long time.
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. Of the hundreds of Azaleas available, Karen is one of the toughest, and it’s the first choice of landscapers in places like the Midwest, where growing Azaleas can be challenging.
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