shrub

Kaempfer Azalea

Rhododendron kaempferi

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Kaempfer Azalea (Rhododendron kaempferi) at Martin's Home and Garden

Kaempfer Azalea flowers

Kaempfer Azalea flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  7 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Description:

A stunning series of deciduous azaleas featuring colorful flowers in spring before the leaves, tall and upright habit; many named varieties available; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting

Ornamental Features

Kaempfer Azalea is bathed in stunning clusters of ruby-red trumpet-shaped flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The narrow leaves turn an outstanding red in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Kaempfer Azalea is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Kaempfer Azalea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Kaempfer Azalea will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 7 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Fall Color  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features