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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - February 24, 2015

From: New Egypt, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Lists, Shrubs
Title: Companion Plants for Rhododendron periclymenoides
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Could you identify companion plants that work well with the pink azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides)?

ANSWER:

Pink azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides) is a beautiful member of the Ericaceae (Heath Family) and grows to around 6 ft. It is deciduous shrub. Showy, delicate pink and white flowers occur in clusters before or with the new leaves in the spring (March to May depending on location). It is slightly more tolerant of dry sites (but is susceptible of scorch if too dry) than many other relatives but does prefer moist, acidic, well drained soil. At least half a day of sun is beneficial.

To find some suitable companion plants, look in the Native Plant Database and select the following search criteria...New Jersey, shrub, perennial, part shade, moist, and 3-6 feet.

There are several native shrubs that are good companions to the pink azalea that you might consider. These include:

Amelanchier stolonifera (running serviceberry)

Clethra alnifolia (coastal pepperbush)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow) Note: This plant may be too coarse in texture to be a suitable companion.

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)

Lonicera dioica (limber honeysuckle)

Rhododendron canadense (rhodora)

Symphoricarpos albus (common snowberry)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Additional companions can be found by changing your search criteria to include subshrubs or herbaceous plants too.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pink azalea
Rhododendron periclymenoides

Pink azalea
Rhododendron periclymenoides

Pink azalea
Rhododendron periclymenoides

Running serviceberry
Amelanchier stolonifera

Coastal pepperbush
Clethra alnifolia

Halberdleaf rosemallow
Hibiscus laevis

Virginia sweetspire
Itea virginica

Limber honeysuckle
Lonicera dioica

Rhodora
Rhododendron canadense

Common snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

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