Azalea Silver Sword
Nothing brightens a dark corner of a landscape like variegated foliage. The evergreen azalea ‘Silver Sword’ has it all: lovely blooms, compact growth, disease resistance and stunning leaves. Ruffled, funnel-shaped, purple-red flowers cluster near the branch tips in mid-spring. But the stars of the show are the narrowly elliptic, glossy dark green leaves, which are strikingly bordered with white. In fall and winter they take on burgundy-red overtones. The broadly mounded, knee-high plants are densely branched. This azalea prefers partial shade and highly organic acid soil that is evenly moist but well-drained. Plant it shallowly and mulch well to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. It likes warm summers and cool winters and requires some winter cold for good growth. The flower buds develop in summer for the following spring’s display, so prune shortly after flowering, if necessary. Azalea ‘Silver Sword’ is great for mixed borders, foundation plantings, Japanese gardens, and containers.