Karen Azalea (Rhododendron x ‘Karen’)

Karen Azalea

What a gorgeous plant to spice up your landscape! You’ll definitely notice the bold Karen Azalea (Rhododendron x ‘Karen’) blooms in early spring. They’ll cover the bright green new foliage completely in full bloom. Each 1-2-inch blossom is a double “hose-in-hose” style that really makes things pop.

One of the most cold-hardy of the dependable Gable Hybrids developed by Mr. Joseph Gable, the Karen Azalea is a broad-leaved evergreen that features bright, pinky-purple blooms. This striking plant could also really light up your entryway as a specimen plant. Your guests will love Karen Azalea’s welcoming and warm presence.

Butterflies and hummingbirds buzzing through your garden adore the showy blooms, too! Backed by a rounded flush of green broad-leaved evergreen ornamental flowering shrub that thrives throughout USDA growing zones 4 to 9 and is easy to grow. Reaching 2-4 feet in height but 3-5 feet in width at maturity.

Planting and Application:

If you have a Zen garden, add several Karen Azaleas around your meditation spot or around a reflection pool. You often see these springtime beauties paired with Bleeding Heart perennials. Add an amazing designer touch to the smaller, urban landscape, perfectly sized as an accent hedge or screen. Year-round, vibrant hues are perfect for foundation plantings, and a four-season backdrop for smaller shrubs and perennials.

Because this plant thrives in partial share, add a few of these partner plants beneath a shaded canopy, wilderness garden, and where you like to meditate or relax and read. Take time to appreciate the awesome beauty and intricacy of nature. Your Azalea creates an instant focal point to any landscape and works in any style garden. Karen Azaleas look great in large tubs or planters beside a doorway or your patio, as a beautiful specimen shrub, or when planted in a formal row along a walkway for privacy.

  • Large, Showy Pinky Purple Blooms
  • Produces a Plethora of Flower Trusses!
  • Attracts Hummingbirds and Butterflies
  • Broad-Leaved Evergreen
  • Hedges, Containers, Accents, Specimens & Four Season Color

Tips For Care

Rhododendrons and Azaleas love the partial shade, both dappled all-day shade and afternoon shade with morning sun. This plant will need fast-draining, acidic soil for best performance. In nature, they grow in thin soil on mountain slopes. You can replicate these conditions in your landscape by creating a mound or raised bed about 18 inches tall. Adjust the soil with pine needle mulch topdressing, peat moss, and perlite pellets.

When planting Karen Azaleas, “mound them up” when planting to support their shallow root systems. Leave several inches of root ball visible above the ground. Then carefully cover it with a dense layer of pine mulch. Be sure the pine mulch doesn’t touch the base of the stem. Only prune flowering broad-leaved evergreen shrubs immediately after the flowers fade to avoid removing next year’s spring display!

  • Full Sun & Partial Shade/Afternoon Shade
  • Enriched Well-Drained Organic Soil
  • Regular Moisture & Appreciates Mulched Beds
  • Prune Right After Flower
  • Heat & Cold Tolerant

If you want a plant you will fall head-over-heels for, try the Karen Azalea. It’s sure to become one of your favorites and fill your yard with voluminous blooms.

Karen Azalea (Rhododendron x ‘Karen’) Details

Common name Karen Azalea
Botanical name Rhododendron x 'Karen'
Plant type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 2 - 4 ft.
Width 3 - 5 ft.
Sunlight Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time After Flowering
Flower color Pink & Purple