To experience success in Zone 6, it’s important to understand the similarities as well as the differences that distinguish Encore Azaleas from traditional azaleas.
The Encore Azalea Difference # 1:
Encore Azaleas rebloom in spring, late summer and fall giving you several bloom cycles. The late summer/fall bloom cycle is much longer than the spring bloom. Most varieties provide 2 to 3 months (and some even more) of blooms in summer/fall.
This is a pretty incredible delivery from your landscape when most of your spring/summer annuals and perennials are looking tied and worn at this time of year.
The Encore Azalea Difference #2:
Encore Azaleas need SUN in order to bloom well and to grow nice, full, lush foliage. The optimum sun time is AT LEAST 6 hours of FULL sun a day… preferably morning sun until 2-3 pm and then shade or filtered light.
Yes, full sun— you DID read that correctly!
How early an azalea will bloom in the spring is determined by how warm the temperatures become as we leave winter. And how early your Encore Azaleas bloom in spring WILL determine when they bloom in the late summer/fall.
So the important thing to remember is to plant your Encore Azaleas where they get a lot of nice warm sun, and you’ll make sure your cold-hardy variety blooms in summer and fall before zone 6 winter sets in.