Frequently Asked Questions
In areas where they thrive, ask for them at your local garden center that sells Proven Winners shrubs. If they do not already have them in stock, they can order them for you from the grower who supplies them with Proven Winners shrubs. They are also available through several mail order outlets; however, be aware that this will start you out with a much smaller plant than you could purchase at a garden center.
We selected Perfecto Mundo azaleas with the specific intent of finding the showiest, highest-performing varieties out of the hundreds that we trialed. We were looking for an outstanding spring bloom, which seems obvious but is actually a weakness of many of the reblooming types currently available, which have their heaviest bloom in fall. We wanted neat, dense habits, as most people seek out that touch of formality from their azalea plantings. And as is central to being included in the Proven Winners® brand, they had to be vigorous, healthy, and disease resistant. That’s why we call the Perfecto Mundo series the total package!
The breeding was done by Dr. Tom Ranney and his team at the Mountain Horticultural Crops and Research Station near Asheville, North Carolina. Their crosses resulted in literally hundreds of unique plants, and the aesthetic and performance evaluation on those was done by the new plant development team at Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan.
The ideal spot for these azaleas is one that gets filtered light all day long, such as a place that’s shaded by the high canopy of a deciduous tree. They can take full sun in the cooler end of their zone range, but in warmer climates, gardeners in hot areas will find the flowers last longer and the plants are happier in spots with afternoon shade.
Like all rhododendron and azaleas, they grow best in acidic soil. This is because the nutrient availability in acidic soils meets all of their needs for healthy growth and deep green foliage. If your soil is not sufficiently acidic, you can apply a soil acidifier according to package directions, or try growing your azaleas in containers, which allow you greater control of the growing medium.
We recommend a 2-3” layer of shredded bark mulch over the roots – azaleas have quite shallow root systems, and mulch goes a long way toward keeping those roots cool and moist, the two conditions they need to really thrive. You can also give the azaleas a light trim after their spring bloom. This encourages new growth, and the more new growth they put on, the better their fall bloom will be.
If there is, it’s the same as for any other reblooming shrubs, like Bloomerang lilac or Sonic Bloom weigela: the more new growth that the plant puts on after its spring bloom, the more flowers it will create later in the season. To encourage vigorous new growth, plants should be mulched, fertilized after the spring bloom, and watered any time the weather is hot and dry so they don’t enter a period of drought stress, which slows or halts new growth. A light trim after the spring bloom is complete can also encourage new growth, but this isn’t strictly necessary.
Yes! They make excellent container plants in zone 7 and warmer. Select a weatherproof container that can stay outdoors all year round, and match the size to the size of the azalea you purchase:
- 4.5” (usually only available via mail order): 6-8” diameter container
- 1 gallon: 10-12” container
- 2 gallon: 12-14” container
- 3 gallon: 14-16” container
Of course, the container must have plenty of large, open drainage holes so that water can flow freely out the bottom. Any standard potting mix at your local garden center is suitable to use as soil.
We do recommend Perfecto Mundo azaleas only as far north as USDA zone 6b, which is the milder end of the zone 6 range. This typically means that milder coastal areas will find more success than Midwestern zone 6b areas, which tend to have harsher winters and less snow cover. Here in Grand Haven, Michigan, we have had good survival on the Perfecto Mundo azaleas over winter, however, we enjoy slightly milder temperatures due to our proximity to Lake Michigan, and reliable snow cover during the coldest periods of the year. If you wish to try Perfecto Mundo azalea in zone 6, we recommend selecting a protected spot that is sheltered from the worst of the winter weather, such as on the east side of your home, near its walls, and definitely give it a good layer of mulch. If spring comes and you are seeing a lot of winter damage, be patient – while it may have lost its spring flower buds, it can recover with some time and TLC.