Hot New Plant for Spring 2016: Pike Nurseries to Unveil ‘Autumn Fire™’ April 1!


Encore® Azalea’s “Autumn Fire™” offers vibrant year-round appeal and more; Garden center hosting two giveaway opportunities for customers to win their own Autumn Fire™

Just in time for the prime gardening season, Pike Nurseries is debuting a new, eye-catching plant variety that will set any landscape ablaze with vibrant color and interest all year long. Starting Friday, April 1, all garden center locations will carry Autumn Fire™, the newest variety of high-performing shrubs from Encore® Azalea.   

Known as a hallmark favorite of Southern gardens, Azaleas showcase stunning spring blossoms in a variety of dazzling hues. As the most recent addition to Encore®Azalea’s superior collection of easy-care, multi-season blooming shrubs, the Autumn Fire™ takes this signature color display up a notch with fierce year-round appeal. A nod to its fiery name, this new dwarf azalea flaunts semi-double velvety blooms in a true, robust red from spring through fall. During winter months, its glossy, dark green foliage deepens to a saturated purple-bronze. 

“We take into account many factors when deciding which varietals will be featured in stores, and the Autumn Fire™ azalea hit the mark in every category,” said Mark Malaguerra, Tree and Shrub Buyer for Pike Nurseries. “Its showy scarlet blooms and striking foliage – combined with its other noteworthy features – make this new dwarf shrub an absolute must-have in any Southern garden.”

As if its pop of vivid color wasn’t enough, Autumn Fire™ is also known for its weather durability. Having recently received the best cold hardy rating of all Encore® Azaleas in university trials, this variety can endure harsh temperatures while providing much-needed color and interest to stark winter landscapes.

Because it’s a dwarf shrub, the Autumn Fire™ is perfect for containers, shrub borders, small hedges, as accent plants or planted in mass. It grows 2 ½ feet tall and 3 feet wide with blooms about 2 ½ inches across, and requires little pruning due to its compact growth. The best time to plant this variety is when temperatures are generally mild in late spring or early fall. The Autumn Fire™ just needs partial shade, well-drained soil and regular watering to thrive – perfect for green thumb gurus and budding gardeners alike!

As part of the big debut for this new variety, Pike Nurseries is hosting two giveaway opportunities for customers to win a 1 gallon Autumn Fire™ shrub of their own! Guests can look for a dedicated social media post on the garden center’s Facebook page and Twitter page and enter to win now through Friday, April 1 by sharing the post via Facebook or re-Tweeting via Twitter. 16 winners will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, April 1. Customers can also participate in a register-to-win raffle drawing on Friday, April 1 during the annual Garden Party from at all store locations. 5 winners will be randomly selected at the event and contacted the following week. All winners must be able to pick up their Autumn Fire™ in one of Pike Nurseries’ store locations.

Customers can visit their local Pike Nurseries store to purchase or receive more information about the new Autumn Fire™. Other spring favorites available at Pike Nurseries include tomato varieties, cocktail fruit trees, encore azaleas and more. As always, the experts at Pike Nurseries are available to provide professional advice, offer suggestions and even help custom design homeowners’ landscapes.


Ever committed to its customers’ gardening success, Pike Nurseries takes pride in taking the guesswork out of gardening. Offering superior knowledge, quality and selection in a friendly, caring environment, Pike Nurseries has been an Atlanta icon for over 50 years. Founded in 1958 by Pete Pike, its ability to adapt to market conditions and community needs has made it a respected Southern institution. As Atlanta’s oldest garden chain, Pike Nurseries has 16 retail locations in the Atlanta, GA, Greensboro, GA and Charlotte, NC areas and employs the most certified garden experts. Now led by CEO Mike Kunce, Pike Nurseries looks forward to continued growth as it keeps Georgia and North Carolina beautiful, one landscape at a time. For more information, please visit Pike Nurseries online at  Connect with Pike Nurseries on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

About Encore® Azalea

Encore® Azalea is the world’s best selling multi-season blooming azalea. Its 30 varieties and range of sizes enliven landscapes with rich, colorful blooms in spring, summer and fall. It is sun tolerant, low maintenance and cold hardy, with most varieties being hardy through USDA Zone 6. It has an established reputation in the plant industry like no other azalea on the market. Visit to learn more.

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