'Hino-crimson is a dependable, small evergreen azalea in the Kurume hybrid group. It stays small enough to easily be grown in a container on a small deck, making it the perfect azalea for someone like me who lives with deer circling his plants like sharks.
The flowers are red, with a slightly pinkish hue, roughly 1 inch across and born so profusely that the leaves may virtually disappear when the plant is in full bloom.
Personally, my favorite stage is just before the flowers open, when flowers have expanded out of their bud scales and look like tiny red candle flames.
I seem to remember 'Hino-crimson' not blooming well a few years ago, perhaps the roots were damaged by the PKWs or it just needed some new soil in its pot, but this year it should turn solid red as the blooms open.
It also has a nice, tiered branching habit and tight growth, almost cloud-like (maybe with some judicious pruning it could be trained in a cloud style), giving it more interesting structure than some evergreen azaleas. The red flowers create a classic complement to the blue glaze of the container, and make a wonderful display every spring.
The stats on Rhododendron 'Hino-crimson':
- Tight growth to 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide
- USDA zones 5-9
- Part-sun or dappled shade. Protect from hot afternoon sun
- Red flowers nearly obscure the leaves but typically drop cleanly or are covered by new growth, so old flowers are not an eyesore
- Typical soil and moisture for rhododendrons and azaleas. Also makes a good container specimen
My favorite plant this week is hosted by Loree at Danger Garden. Check out what caught other gardeners' eyes this week.