Forum Debate: Encore Azaleas vs. Knockout Roses

WizOfOz(7)May 14, 2014

My husband and I are in the planning phase for a front yard overhaul and we were discussing azaleas versus knockout roses. Both seem to be very popular in the South where we live and I often hear people deciding between the two.

So I thought we could start a friendly GW debate!

Which do you prefer and why?
I see knockout roses everywhere, are they the new azalea?

Ready, set, go!

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KO's are not the new azalea because they are too different. Azaleas tolerate much more shade and bloom in the spring, whereas KO's survive in the blazing sun and are primarily summer color. They cannot be used interchangeably.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Mike Larkin

Agree 100% - Apples and Oranges.
The grow in completely different conditions.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:09PM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

azaleas: needs some shade. Evergreen varieties will be green or bronze in winter. New repeat bloomers will have a nice rebloom in fall if it gets a good bit of direct sun.

Knockout roses: Likes full sun, though will tolerate some light shade. Blooms almost continuously from early summer to frost. Bare in winter.

You can use both, one for shady areas and the other for sun. Evergreen has advantages.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:18PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

FWIW I don't think every azalea actually needs shade north of the DC suburbs, I have a couple in full sun, but the only place all of the Encores are hardy is well south of there. I'm still rather irritated I paid top dollar for one of them from a fancy Baltimore area nursery - one of my few purchases of trees or shrubs from a non-specialist, local nursery - only to have it die at a very high winter temp, around 10F. Most of them should never have been rated zn 7 hardy, the species they used to get the late blooming was a very tender SE Asian one. It was the orange one...some of the pink ones might be a bit hardier but I know I've read other accounts on the web of their hardiness having been overstated during the initial launch.

Remember all knockout roses in the eastern US, at least, will probably eventually die of RRD.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 4:47AM
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