'Apricot Surprise' Deciduous Azalea - one of my Faves

Apricot Surprise Deciduous Azalea flower buds
Some plants take my breath away when they are in full bloom. 'Apricot Surprise' Northern Lights Deciduous Azalea does that to me. 

'Apricot Surprise' is one of the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Station's "Northern Lights" hybrid series. They are very cold-hardy and are heavy bloomers. I love the clear colors of deciduous azaleas. 

The buds of 'Apricot Surprise' are darker colored so the blossoms appear multi-hued with apricot-peach tones. The flowers also have a cinnamon/clove fragrance! Its blooms can last weeks in spring. How lovely. 

Apricot Surprise planted with Goldmound Spirea - Garden and Photo by Jan Johnsen

This plant requires protection from direct sun in the afternoon. I planted it where it gets lots of morning sun (5 hours) and placed it with other plants in a woodland plant bed so that its roots are protected. Important!  It grows to 5 feet high.

The planting shown above is in a wooded area and is set against a leafy green backdrop. This makes all the difference when you want a color to pop out. The background is just as important as the plant to show it off.  That is Spirea Goldmound next to it...The contrast in green is so appealing!  

Another tip for this plant is from 'Heaven is a Garden', my garden design book. Plant blue toned foliage like hostas, iris near it...or spring flowers that are bluish pinks or purple...Pow! what a combination.


  1. Just beautiful, I'm sitting doing some 'blogging', enjoying a cup of tea and looking at those lovely blooms .... perfect

    All the best Jan


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