Formosa Azaleas – Cold Tolerance

Q: Our landscape designer wants to put a hedge of Formosa azaleas in our back yard. Will they withstand our cold?

A: There does seem to be a winter warming trend for Atlanta and environs. But just because it is warmer overall, that doesn’t mean we can’t have short periods of bitter cold. I see Formosa azaleas growing in Atlanta that have done well for decades. If the site isn’t totally exposed to blasting winter wind, I’d go ahead with them. If the shrubs grow a good root system in the next few years, they will sprout back if we do get a murderous freeze.