John&Jacq~s Garden

Large showy blooms of Rhododendron simsii (Azalea indica)

Rhododendron simsii, Azalea indica (Indoor Azalea, Indian/Indica Azalea, Chinese Azalea/Indica, Sim’s Azalea)

We were absolutely astounded by the sheer number of large showy deep rosy-pink blooms, almost shrouding the dark green foliage beneath. Our first sight of this stunning Azalea indica was at a friend’s house during the 2007 Chinese New Year Season in February. Simply breathtaking – a plant that was less than 15cm tall, yet covered with such a profusion of gorgeous trusses! Probably our dumbstruck admiration caused our dear friend to present that lovely plant as pictured above to us when she returned to Saudi Arabia to work a few weeks later. Aren’t we fortunate? :D

Initially, we were skeptical that it could survive for long, thinking that it was another of those holiday season plants that were artificially boosted to bloom profusely just for quick sales. But it proved us wrong and was adamant to strive till this very day. Well, it was almost dormant for a little over a year until we decided to repot and relocate it in April.

Since being relocated from our shady courtyard to a sunny spot at our front yard garden, our Rhododendron simsii has grown more beautiful than ever.

Flower color is more vibrant and even tends toward a brilliant shade of reddish-pink as seen in the left photo, and is now quite a frequent bloomer, flowering continuously for about a month at a time. Simply marvelous! A pity though that we have not been able to identity this beautiful hybrid or cultivar with large brightly-colored double blooms, 4.5- to 7-cm in diameter.

A slow-grower reaching 35cm tall in 1.6 years with an upright and outward branching habit that is just perfect for container gardening, indoors or outdoors.

Here is sharing a recent image of our R. simsii which was captured about a month ago, looking healthy and happy.

Its tallest stem with spent flowers had been trimmed a few weeks before this shot, and used to propagate a new plant.
Hooray, it was a success…another young plant added to our tropical garden! :D

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

Other external links:
American Rhododendron Society, on the fundmentals of Rhododendron and Azalea culture, and here for images of hybrids and species.
Azalea Society of America, with such extensive information on azaleas, and enjoy their photo galleries of the innumerous hybrids/varieties found worldwide.
North Carolina Coop. Extension Service, to familiarize with the popular groups of Azaleas.
Henning’s Rhododendorn & Azalea Pages, almost everything you need to know about these spectacular shrubs.

More Rhododendron simsii (Azalea indica) pictures :

Unidentified R. simsii – with pure white flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – with sweet baby pink flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – with reddish-pink flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – with pink flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – with bicoloured pink+white flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – with bicoloured pink+white flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – with pink flowers

Unidentified R. simsii – white flowers with pink ruffled edges, a bicolored variety

Latest update: March 26, 2011
Our potted azalea is still flourishing well and blooming its head off as seen in the right image, shot January 11 2011. Check here for more of our azalea pictures!

We’re happy to share that we’ve been enjoying another blooming flush since the second week of March and still going strong as I update its status today! :)

Last edit: June 1, 2016