The Southern States are known for their flamboyant, flowering azalea plants in the early spring, and many cities like to call themselves: "The Azalea City." Most azaleas are evergreen plants and the lush extended period of flowering occurs early in the spring, although freaky unsettled weather during the fall or spring can cause some blooming in the fall and winter, but usually during unexpected cold snaps,
the azalea flowering will pause, only to resume blooming at a later time when the weather growing cycle becomes favorable again. Every color of the spectrum can be seen in flowering, azalea shrubs. Deciduous azalea bushes grow wild as native plants in low wetland woods throughout the United States, in many colors, red, pink and the rare white and yellow native azaleas that are extremely fragrant like the native, honeysuckle, with fist-sized clusters of small trumpet shaped blooms with up-curved, protruding stamens extending from the flared opening at the end. The most common and popular kind of azalea planted is the Formosa Azalea Plant that can grow into very large sizes, sometimes reaching 10 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The Japanese Karume azalea bush is a medium sized grower up to 5 feet in height. The Japanese Satsuki, Gumpo and Wakaebisu azalea plants grow 3 feet or less. Many wild type deciduous azalea bushes grow in the woods, mostly in colors of red, pink, white, and the rare yellow that will grow as medium sized azaleas that may reach 6 feet. Azalea plants should be grown in shady places like beneath oak trees, or pines trees that have filtered light. Some gardeners loose their azalea bushes after planting them in the full sun, because azaleas have fibrous root systems - much like blueberry and camellia, and full sun will kill them over time. The shallow root system should be planted with the rootball mass somewhat elevated above the soil level in an acid soil that ranges from 5.5 to 6.5pH acidity. The soil acidity can be regulated by planting the azalea shrubs in a 50-50 soil mixture of sand and peat moss, or either by adding Iron Sulfate. When planting azaleas in the soil, they should be planted the same distance apart as the expected mature height of the azalea bush. Fertilizing is usually not necessary, but on very poor soil, you can add a little branded "Azalea-Camellia" fertilizer that usually contains a little soluble Iron Chelate in addition to the NPK.