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Azalea Primitive Beauty

Categories:Azaleas & Rhododendrons For the Shade Garden Rare Plants Shrubs

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Primitive Beauty azalea has pristine white flowers of notable form. This somewhat rare Indica azalea is highly recommended for southern gardeners.

I love Snow and Coral Bells azaleas as much as the next guy but tend to admire them in other people’s gardens. There is only so much space in one’s own garden after all. Primitive Beauty azalea is mysterious, ethereal, and well-named.

Primitive Beauty Azalea
Primitive Beauty Azalea is a hybrid Indica.

If there was an azalea of the paleolithic era, Primitive Beauty would be the one.

What is striking about Primitive Beauty are the flowers, white strap-like blooms similar in form to Koromo Shikibu, a lavender azalea more widely known.

Primitive Beauty azalea is new in our test garden, but we love it unreservedly already. Primitive Beauty will reportedly form a mound of five feet or so over the years. Azaleas prefer acidic humus-laden soil that is well drained. Do not cultivate around the root ball as azalea roots are shallow. Indica azaleas, also called Southern Indian azaleas, were originally developed in Charleston, South Carolina and are excellent choices for the hot and humid conditions of the coastal plain.

Azalea Primitive Beauty
Young Primitive Beauty azalea in the landscape.

It is often said that Indica azaleas are not hardy in North Georgia and colder zones. Our experience (zone 7) is that Indica azaleas are quite hardy but their blooms are not. In addition, cold hardiness of Indica blooms tends to vary. We have a pink George L. Tabor that rarely blooms, but the white G.G. Gerbing is consistently reliable.

It blooms in early to mid-April. The flower type is designated as strap-like, a formal designation for azalea bloom forms.  It is also often said that Indica azaleas, due to their more open growth habit and fast growth rate, are not good foundation plants. I would disagree if the home in question has a raised porch (as many southern homes do).


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