S & J Nursery’s
Lavender Formosa Azalea for Northeast Florida
( Rhododendron Indica ‘ Lavender Formosa’ )
Lavender Formosa Azalea Origins:
– Most Azaleas found in modern nursery sites are evergreen members f the
Rhododendron family and are native to Asia, but North Florida is the native home to a few deciduous Azaleas with
somewhat gently fragrant blossoms.
– Lavender Formosa belongs to the Azalea grouping known as Southern Indica
Hybrids selected for their vigorous growth habits and sun tolerance and are a very hardy landscape plant for the
North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area gardens.
Lavender Formosa Azalea Preferred Exposure:
– The Lavender Formosa Azalea is part of a grouping of Azaleas known as Southern
Indicas ( a selection from Belgian Indica Hybrids) and are among the best selections for Azaleas that will get a
little more sunlight in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine areas gardens.
– Southern Indica Azaleas including the Lavender Formosa can be planted in
parital sun or shaded conditions.
Lavender Formosa Azalea Foliage:
– Large evergreen foliage is a deep dark green color and looks its best when trimmed
or pinched back each year following the spring bloom.
Lavender Formosa Azalea Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Lavender Formosa Azalea’s will prefer fertilize, well drained soils that are
acidic ( from 4.5 – 6.0 on the PH scale ) Iron chlorosis will become problematic when planted in Alkaline
– Avoid planting in heavy wet clay soils as root rot will cause the foliage to
yellow and wilt or the plant to completely die out after heavy rains.
– Will not tolerate wet soils even for short periods.
– Not recommended for use in poorly drained areas that will stay wet during our
heavy rain season. If you just must plant Lavender Formosa Azalea into a consistently moist area raise the area
into a burm 8-12 inches above the existing soil level with compost to help its roots get up out of the water
after a rain.
– Azalea shrubs have a low salt tolerance and should be avoided for coastal
Lavender Formosa Azalea Size Variance:
– Lavender Formosa Azalea can reach sizes of 6-8+ feet High | 4-6 feet Wide but are
most often kept to about 4 ft with annual or sem annual prunings.
Lavender Formosa Azalea Growth Habit:
– Azalea Formosa shrubs will need to be pinched and shaped a bit to keep them at
their best in the landscape. Unpruned the have a naturally open rounded habit but are more thinly foliated than
their manicured counterparts.
Lavender Formosa Azalea Growth Rate:
– Fast growing shrub quickly establishes itself into the landscape.
Lavender Formosa Azalea Bloom:
– Large bright almost neon lavender colored blooms cover the foliage of the plant
each spring with a flower display you cant help but notice, eve from a distance these plants in bloom are
Lavender Formosa Azalea Water Requirements:
– Azaleas tend to form a shallow root system and should be planted into landscapes
where supplimental irrigation is possible during prolonged periods of drought.
– Will not tolerate wet soils even for short periods.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Attracts butterflies.
Best Uses For Lavender Formosa:
– Azaleas are among the most common landscape shrubs for the North Florida area.
They can be used as foundation plantings,
mass plantings in large beds, trained to single or multiple stemmed tree form
and used as foundation accents or focal points.
– Azaleas are perfect when massed in large groupings as under plantings for
the edges of natural areas or larger native Oaks and Maples.
Care of S & J Nursery’s North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine Azalea
– Azaleas should be pruned each year after flowering to maintain the best
foliage and shape possible. They may be trimmed at any time during the summer months but remember not to trim to
late in the season or you may be cutting off next years blooms! A good rule of thumb for the North Florida are
is not to prune in the fall, wait until they have bloomed the following spring and trim once after spring and
once in the summer.
– Azalea shrubs will need acid plant food made for Azaleas for best
– Azalea shrubs can be planted in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St.Augustine
area at any time during the year. In normal and well draining soils dig the hole as deep as the root ball and
two to three times as wide. Plant the top of the root ball level or slightly higher than the surrounding soils.
Avoid planting in poorly drained soils.
– Water every day during the establishment period. For most 3 gallon size shrubs in
the North Florida landscape in average soil, that is neither heavy clay that holds water or really sandy that
will take 2-3 weeks of daily watering to ensure that your newly planted shrub will begin to put out new roots
and grow into its new home happily. After the first few weeks begin tapering back your watering to every other
day then every third day and so on until your newly planted items are flourishing without your assistance.
– Azaleas will need supplimental irrigation during times of excessive heat or
– IMPORTANT: If planting shrubs in heavy clay soils that hold allot of water after a
rain or irrigating, remember to check the soil for moisture by sticking your fingers into the soil near the root
ball of the newly planted shrub down to 2-3 inches. If it remains wet from the previous watering wait for the
top 2-3 inches to dry out before watering again.
– IMPORTANT: When planting shrubs into poor sandy soils be sure to amend the
planting hole by mixing compost or cow manure etc. with the native soil that will go back in the hole around the
new plants root ball when installing your shrub material, this will not only give your new shrubs good soil to
grow its new roots into but help it hold water.
– When planting Azalea shrubs from containers be sure to loosen the roots as much as
possible pulling loose roots away from the root ball before installing your new plants, if the roots are to
tight to easily loosen with your hands use a knife to cut a few slits into the root ball being careful to go all
the way from the top to the bottom and making the cut at least an inch deep. This will ensure that your plant
will immediately begin to form new roots into its new surrounding soil.
– Mulch newly planted shrubs whenever possible. Azaleas will benefit from a 2-3 inch
layer of Pine bark or Pine Straw as they will help acidify the soil over time.
– Fertilize each spring with a mixture of milorganite and a good acid fertilizer
made specifically for acid plants like azaleas camellias and gardenias. Be sure when fertilizing to sprinkle the
fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the shrubs.