List of Dwarf Azaleas
Dwarf azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) are versatile, evergreen or deciduous shrubs. Azaleas are perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, depending on species and cultivar. Mature dwarf azalea sizes vary, also according to the species and cultivar. There are hundreds of types of dwarf azaleas, including some that are cultivated varieties (cultivars), which are bred for their small size, and others that are species plants, which naturally grow smaller than other plants in the Rhododendron genus.
Dwarf azaleas offer a range of flower colors and include cultivars in the Satsuki and Kurume collections. The coastal azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum, zones 6-8) is a dwarf species, growing 3 to 6 feet tall, unlike some species that attain a mature height of 20 feet or more.
Types of Dwarf Azaleas
|Satsuki Hybrids||_Rhododendron_ x _hybridum_||USDA Zones 7-9|
Dwarf Indica (Gumpos)
Dwarf Coastal Azaleas
Satsuki Hybrid Azaleas
Satsuki hybrid azaleas (Rhododendron x hybridum, zones 7-9) are compact shrubs with a maximum height around 5 feet that bear large, flat blooms 4 to 5 inches wide. The Louisiana State University AgCenter notes that satsuki hybrids bloom a little later in spring than other types of azaleas. The word "satsuki" means "fifth month" in Japanese, referring to this azalea's habit of blooming in May. Colors vary, including the 'Flame Creeper' satsuki with orange-red flowers and the 'Gyokushin' satsuki with white flowers with pink centers.
Dwarf Indica (Gumpo) Azaleas
Gumpo azaleas (Rhododendron eriocarpum, zones 6-8) are widely grown traditional dwarf shrubs that grow well in small urban gardens and in containers. As their cultivar names hint, 'Gumpo White' produces white flowers with occasional red flecks, 'Gumpo Pink' bears pale pink blooms, and 'Gumpo Red' produces red blossoms. Gumpo azalea foliage is dense and evergreen, and the shrubs grow slowly into a neat, rounded, compact form 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.
Dwarf Kurume Azaleas
Evergreen dwarf shrubs, Kurume azaleas (Rhododendron ponticum, zones 6-9) were discovered in Japan more than 300 years ago. The North Carolina State Extension notes that flowers are borne in clusters of six to 15. Since then, azalea breeders have developed many cultivars, such as 'Pink Pearl,' with blush-pink flowers that age to white, and 'Variegatum,' which has purplish-lavender flowers and variegated leaves.
Dwarf Coastal Azalea Species
Coastal azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum) is a dwarf azalea species, growing in the wild and in gardens in USDA zones 6 through 9. The shrub grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide and pinkish-white, fragrant flowers appear in mid-spring. Coastal azalea leaves are medium green to powdery blue green. Native to the eastern U.S. coast, this plant spreads through underground stolons, which are specialized horizontal stems that creep along the ground. All parts of coastal azalea are highly toxic, so don't grow this shrub where young children have easy access.
Other Dwarf Azalea Cultivars
Check the final growing dimensions on labels to find other dwarf azalea cultivars at your local garden center or plant nursery. Many are available, including 'Concho,' which keeps a compact height of 2 feet or less and bears crimson-spotted purplish-lilac blooms, and 'Ginny Gee,' which grows only 18 inches tall and wide and produces white flowers with pink mottling. Check pictures of dwarf azaleas online or on the plant tags to choose flower colors that complement your landscape.
A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.