Native Azaleas

Native Azaleas at Carolina Native Nursery

The Gems of the Native Garden


Native Plants William Bartram, in Travels (1791), said in the first description of the Flame Azalea, “This is the most gay and brilliant flowering shrub yet known.” We agree and made it our brand. Learn more about native azaleas below!

Carolina Native Nursery is known for growing thousands of native azaleas from seed on our large property in beautiful Burnsville, North Carolina.

We think native azaleas should be in everyone’s garden. As far as we are concerned, these plants are truly the gems of our indigenous landscape. Instead of transporting them from roadsides or forest environments, as folks have been doing as long as there are shovels, please leave native plants where they grow. If you are a native azalea enthusiast we have the plants for you.

Azalea Research

How to Grow Azaleas from Seed

Native Plant Care

Bee Native Retail Shop


More Azalea Resources

The American Rhododendron Society

Carolina Native’s Azalea Cheat Sheet

Current Wholesale Availability

Open Letter to ARS to collect seed

Our vision is to be the go to resource for native azaleas in the Southeast. We look forward to raising awareness, providing you with beautiful plants, and helping get these plants into gardens, landscapes, and back in nature everywhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are native azaleas evergreen?
They are not. There are no evergreen azaleas indigenous to North America. All native azaleas are deciduous (they drop their leaves in the fall).
Do I need to plant my native azaleas in the shade?
If you are in a piedmont or coastal area, yes. If you live in the mountains, anywhere in the Appalachian chain, chances are your azaleas can do well in the sun too.
Should I fertilize and prune my azaleas every year?
Not necessarily. If you have a soil rich in organics and the plants look good, why fertilize? But if you’re in the new house, or the soil has been disturbed recently, then yes. We suggest you use an organic fertilizer sprinkled around the drip line of the plant, not up against the stem. If pruning is needed, do it after the plant blooms. But annual pruning is not required at all. Maybe just to shape. Azaleas usually get large and will not like it if you try to keep them short.
What does seed grown mean?
We collect seed from natural stands of plants in the wild. Since they are all seed grown, there are a lot of genetic differences. This means there is variety in bloom color and shape, plant height and density, and other characteristics. Carolina Native grows more native azaleas from seed than any other nursery in the U.S.

Do You Know Where Native Azaleas Are?

Our staff collects seed and needs more from as many sources as possible. You can send us some seeds as well.

We are on the lookout for unique or remarkable azalea hybrids and will bring them to market. Some of the criteria we are looking for as we evaluate these hybrids.

  1. Growing Zones: We are looking for plants that will perform to Zone 5
  2. Time Under Review: Do you have records of the years it has been grown and where
  3. People Involved: There are many azalea aficionados and society members that have spent years observing and recording plants and their characteristics. Who are they?
  4. In Production: Are these plants currently in tissue culture or propagation in general?
  5. American Beauties: Will these plants fit into this very important program?

Are You a Nursery Looking for Azalea Resources?

If you own a nursery that is looking for native azalea liners, give us a call or send us an email. We want to supply you with some liners. For wholesale clients, we ship plants everywhere; from Atlanta to Maine, out to Lake Tahoe, even a box full to Shanghai for trials. Let us know what and where your needs are and we will try to help.