At 3 feet in height with a 6-foot spread, Compacta Korean azalea (Rhododendron yedoense var. poukhanense 'Compacta') makes a wonderful addition to the garden for azalea lovers working with smaller spaces. Early spring flowers range from rose to lilac-lavender and literally cover the entire surface of the shrub. The dark green, semievergreen foliage turns purple, then red, in the fall. To successfully grow rhododendrons in the Chicago area, gardeners must modify the soil to increase acidity and improve the moisture-retention capacity. This typically involves the addition of peat moss and powdered sulfur.
Like other plants native to Korea, this species is winter hardy in many parts of the Upper Midwest, including the Chicago region. The cultivar is a hybrid of the straight species (yedoense) and the naturally occurring regional variant (var. poukhanense).
March - April, May - June
Specimen Plant, Groundcover