Sussex Life Plant of the Month - Azalea 'Hinomayo'

PUBLISHED: 15:51 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 20 February 2013

Glorious azaleas underplanted with bluebells create a striking contrast.

Glorious azaleas underplanted with bluebells create a striking contrast.

Glorious azaleas create a striking contrast when underplanted with bluebells...

Plant of the month

Azalea Hinomayo

  • Kurume hybrid

  • Probably the most popular Japanese azalea in the UK

  • Introduced in 1910 from the Emperors garden in Tokyo

  • Evergreen

  • Dense, bushy growth

  • Prolific pink flowers cover entire plant

Growing notes

  • Hardy

  • Thrives light shade

  • Tolerates full sun if roots moist

  • Shade from early morning sun

  • Moist, humus-rich, free-draining soil

  • Acid soil

  • Plant shallowly

  • Prune immediately after flowering

Floral heights

Plant hanging baskets and window boxes for a beautiful display by summer. Reliable choices include trailing lobelia, campanulas, fuchsias, pelargoniums, petunias and tradescantia. Colour can also come from foliage such as cordylines and grasses. Keep well watered as hanging baskets dry out quickly.

Watery reflections

Divide and plant waterlilies. Plant up bog gardens. Keep water features and ponds topped up. Plant vigorous aquatic plants in baskets to contain them, topped with a layer of gravel. Feed large plants by inserting slow-release tablets below the soil level around base of plant. Providing some shade will reduce algae.

Chelsea chop

Many perennials, such as rudbeckia, sedum and helenium, may flop over by mid-summer so to make sturdier plants they should be cut back by half. Plants will be bushier and flower a bit later. This technique has long been carried out by nurserymen at the end of the Chelsea Flower Show, hence the term Chelsea chop.

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