Azalea Kurume


Jurume Azaleas

Derived mainly from R. kaempferi and R kiusianum. They are small, slow-growing, compact evergreen shrubs. Again, some may be tender in colder areas, but generally they are the most frost-hardy of the evergreen azaleas. They tend to be twiggier than Indicas with smaller leaves and denser foliage. Whilst normally smaller in size than the Indicas, the Kurume hybrids also display great variation in height and spread. Many Kurumes are miniatures or dwarfs but some varieties can reach up to 3m tall.

Flower colours include white, pink, scarlet to purple, and as with Indicas, they may also be striped or flecked. They usually have a mass of flowers in spring creating a spectacular show. They often flower so profusely that their dark green oval leaves may be completely obscured.

They tend to flower in early to late spring Individual flowers are normally single, but some varieties possess ‘hose-in-hose’ blooms. That is, one flower inside another. Average height is 0.6-1.2m.


Many are good for hedging and topiary, for example, The azalea Kurume hybrid R. ‘Best Pink’. In contrast, the Indicas are less suited to hedging because of their more open growth habit. Kurumes look spectacular when dwarf varieties are planted close together in a woodland landscape producing a patchwork of colour.


Evergreen azaleas will thrive in full sun provided that their roots are kept moist. Nevertheless, shelter from cold winds and partial shade is preferable since too much sunlight can bleach their flowers. They like slightly acid, fertile, moist, humus rich soil conditions, with a pH of around 5-5.5. Prune to shape after flowering.



Can be afflicted by a number of pests and diseases including: Red spider mite and lace bugs are are common problems - especially in stressed plants; petal blight (a fungal condition).


Thousands of cultivars available including the following popular types:

‘Coral Bells’ - the flowers contain one blossom inside another producing the appearance of semi-double flowers. They are a vivid pink colour. They require a semi-shaded aspect to avoid leaf scorch and die-back of stems.

‘Hino-Crimson’ - these plants have bright red flowers. Plants are compact, low growing, with small leaves and dense foliage. They are one of the hardiest of the Kurume varieties.

‘Hinodegiri’ - this is the variety from which Hino-crimson was originally selected. It is very similar but the red coloured flowers are not as intense red as those of Hino-crimson.

‘Pink Pearl’ - this variety has large, semi-double, pale pink flowers. The plant itself has low and spreading form.

‘Snow’ - these plants produce large, single white flowers. They are regarded as being the most reliable of the white flowering Kurume Hybrids.

Plant Health

Late summer cuttings work best if taken from younger terminal softwood growth that is just beginning to harden.

More info

Book: Knowing and Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Course by ACS: