Rhododendron ‘Hardy Gardenia’

evergreen azalea

  • © Sally Perkins

Outstanding Qualities

Although, it lacks the fragrance of its namesake the large hose-in-hose double flowers capture the essence of the gardenia flower. In early May the pure white fluffy blooms open dotting the shrub in their brilliance. A compact and dense low grower makes it a useful selection for the smaller urban garden. It is a great plant for edging a bed or patio and can be used as a single specimen or in graceful flowing drifts. Because it is a slow grower do not plant with more vigorous growers. Smaller ferns and hostas make good companions. The dark green foliage and white flowers look great with variegated foliage and silver and gray leaves.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: white gardenia-like spring flowers

Wildlife Associations: bees, hummingbirds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: cream, silver, gold

Great Color Partners: bronze, dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes
This azalea is easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest. Plant it in rich well-drained or sandy soil in a location with full sun to light or open shade. Azaleas are shallow-rooted plants requiring regular watering during dry weather. Faded flowers often drop off or are quickly covered by new growth. Almost no pruning is needed to keep azaleas looking good. Adult root weevils can chew on their leaves, but this is less of a problem on plants that receive more light and regular watering.