TheGardenLady received a comment on her post Summer Care for Encore Azaleas from Mr. Gulius.
What should I do to my Encore Azaleas during winter month?
TheGardenLady sent this question o the people at Encore Azalea, and this is their answer:
As your Encores mature and get more established in their environment, they will be better able to withstand cold temperatures. Young plants are more susceptible to sudden, drastic drops in temperatures, and sustained cold weather (25 degrees or below).
Mulch well (about 4 inches deep) in the fall. Reduce water for a
month or so before the first frost. Then, after a couple of hard
freezes, water well to provide moisture. This will help the plants to go dormant, or “harden off”.
As you would with any outdoor ornamental plants, Encore Azaleas may need some extra protection during sudden freezes and extremely cold weather. Sudden, drastic drops in temperature are more damaging than a gradual decline, especially to newly planted shrubs.
Burlap, old blankets, or sheets (any cloth material) can be used to cover upper plants. It is recommended that you drive stakes in the ground around your Encore and drape the cloth cover over stakes. Foliage in contact with the cover can be injured, so try to minimize cover contact with plant.