Azalea indica 'Magnifica'
If you live in an older suburb in a capital or regional city of Australia chances are you will see this shrub in flower at the moment. Hard to miss with those incredibly bright magenta flowers, and, as this year has given us a dry spring, they are looking very fine as rain spoils the show very quickly turning the petals brown overnight. The big old shrub Azaleas which grow up to 2 metres are very hardy but are probably considered old fashioned these days even though they make great hedge plants or clipped specimen shrubs such as this one. Is it is their susceptibility to insect damage during the growing season that has made them less popular? If you give them regular doses of fertilizer and compost as well as consistent water they usually are less prone to bugs and look much happier.