Exbury is a group of deciduous azalea hybrids (rhododendron Exbury hybrid) with warm-colored flowers. The Golden Eagle variety blooms in late spring with stunning yellow-orange flowers. The plant will grow from 4 to 8 feet in height with a 4- to 10-foot spread and makes an attractive accent planting. Exbury Golden Eagle azalea is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 9.
Grow the Golden Eagle azalea in full sun. If you live in a region with hot summers, plant the azalea where it will receive afternoon shade.
Perform a soil pH test. The Golden Eagle azalea requires a soil pH between 4.5 and 6.0. To lower the pH, experts at the Azalea Society of America suggest that you scatter several handfuls of ferrous sulphate on the soil at the base of the azalea. To raise the soil's pH, apply several handfuls of ground dolomitic limestone instead.
Provide the Golden Eagle azalea 1 inch of water a week. Discontinue watering one month prior to the first frost. Water deeply after the second hard frost and then continue normal watering in the spring.
Pour a 3-inch layer of pine needle mulch onto the soil, 2 inches away from the azalea and spread it out to the dripline. Replace the mulch with a fresh layer in the spring. Azalea experts at the Azalea Society of America say that as long as the azalea is kept mulched it does not require the commercial fertilizer applications.
Cut off dead and fading flowers. The Golden Eagle does not require major pruning. If you need to prune the plant to keep it to a desired size, do so right after it finishes blooming.
Inspect the Golden Eagle azalea for insect infestations. Whiteflies are a common pest and can be controlled by adopting a consistent watering schedule and, for infestations, the use of insecticidal soap spray, according to package directions.