University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Swamp Azalea 'Delaware Blue'

Swamp Azalea 'Delaware Blue' - Photo by Ellen Nibali

Rhododendron viscosum ‘Delaware Blue’

When typical azaleas and rhododendrons finish blooming, our native azaleas begin. There are several species of these deciduous azaleas, and they come into flower at a time when shrub bloom is scarce. One of their best qualities is rich fragrance. Swamp azalea, for instance, smells spicy, sweet, and faintly of clove.  Flowers come in clusters of 4 to 9 flowers each, with super long showy stamens, sometimes brightly colored. The growth habit is loose and natural, with some species suckering into colonies if you’re lucky.  Swamp azaleas grow about 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide or more. Foliage on ‘Delaware Blue’ has a blue-green cast. As its name implies, it prefers moist, organic soil, and an acid pH, thriving in full sun and damp soil.  Like other azaleas, it is shallow rooted and appreciates an organic mulch.  Propagate from cuttings in late summer to fall or by layering in fall. 

May 2013

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