Stewartsonian azaleas are a semi-deciduous varietal of azalea that produces unique reddish-orange flowers in the spring and summer and deep wine-red foliage in the fall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 5 through 10 and prefer loose, nutrient-rich, slightly acidic and moist soil. Azaleas can be planted any time of the year except for winter in USDA Zones 6 and below.
Select a planting bed location that receives direct morning sunlight or lightly filtered shade all day and has easy draining soil that is free of rocks, roots and debris.
Prepare a planting location by digging 15 to 24 inches down into the soil, amending with several pounds of aged manure and compost to enrich and loosen the soil.
Raise the acidity of planting soil to between 4.5 and 6.0 pH by amending with powdered agricultural sulfur or iron sulfate according to the package directions.
Create a planting hole twice the diameter and the same depth as the azalea root ball. Slide the plant from its pot or burlap wrap and place in the hole setting the root ball an inch or two proud of the surrounding soil. Back fill the remaining amended soil around the root ball and tamp down to secure.
Water your azalea deeply at planting until the soil is saturated. Keep evenly moist thereafter, never allowing the soil to dry out completely.
Feed lightly at planting with a acid-rich azalea and camellia formula according to package directions, but not exceeding 1 pound of fertilizer over every 50 square feet.
Mulch around the base of the azalea with 2 inches of coarse organic material like shredded bark, leaf mold, aged sawdust or pine needles.