Rhododendron indicum 'Formosa'
Formosa Azalea flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 8 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Other Names: Indica Azalea, Southern Indian Azalea
An evergreen variety that bears masses of lavender-pink blooms with darker pink blotches, from early to midseason on tall, upright plants; valued for massing in the south; absolutely must have well-drained, highly acidic and organic soil
Formosa Azalea is covered in stunning lavender trumpet-shaped flowers with pink overtones and a hot pink blotch at the ends of the branches from early to mid spring. It has dark green foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. The large fuzzy pointy leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Formosa Azalea is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Formosa Azalea is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
Planting & Growing
Formosa Azalea will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.