shrub

Dorsett Azalea

Rhododendron kaempferi 'Dorsett'

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Dorsett Azalea (Rhododendron kaempferi 'Dorsett') at Martin's Home & Garden

Dorsett Azalea in bloom

Dorsett Azalea in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  7 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Other Names:  Kaempfer Azalea

Description:

A truly beautiful deciduous azalea featuring bright reddish-peach flowers in spring before the leaves, very tall, upright habit and good fall color; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil, use plenty of peat moss when planting

Ornamental Features

Dorsett Azalea is covered in stunning clusters of indian red trumpet-shaped flowers 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

Dorsett 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.

Dorsett Azalea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Dorsett Azalea will grow to be about 10 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 is a selected variety of a species 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