Dallas Arboretum planners recently planted 30 each of the 23 varieties of Encore Azalea, adding to existing Encore Azalea plantings.
Dallas Arboretum, one of the top five garden displays in the nation, included azaleas as some of its first plantings when the garden was created 20 years ago. Last year, Jimmy Turner, director of horticulture research, and Trace Worthy, director of horticulture operations, inventoried the azalea collection and found signs of age and wear.
The horticulture department committed to a five-year program to improve the azalea collection, and Turner wrote and received a $20,000 grant from the Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust to start the process. These funds, in addition to $32,000 allotted by the Dallas Arboretum, were used to buy soil amendments and new plants and to refurbish the irrigation system. The arboretum also began replacing older azaleas with Encore Azaleas as part of the remedy.
“We have tested the Encore Azalea, and I love them,” Turner says. “They have proven to be heat- and cold-tolerant, exceptional bloomers and less likely to have nutritional problems.”