Azaleas are one of the most beautiful flower shrubs you will ever come across. It looks stunning, especially when it is in full bloom during spring. These are easy-care shrubs that come in a variety of colors. You will definitely find one that suits your needs.
My first interaction with azaleas was back in my childhood when I used to visit my grandparent’s place. They had this huge pink colored shrub of azalea that always caught my attention whenever I visited them during spring. My love for these beautiful flowers grew as I grew older. I knew I had to have them in my garden and to my surprise, growing them and caring for them was not difficult at all.
Here is everything you need to know about growing azaleas and caring for them.
Everything You Need to Know about Azaleas
Azalea is a plant mostly native to Asia. While some varieties are native to the U.S., most of the shrubs with huge flowers in pink, red, white, coral and burgundy colors are all imported from Asia. Azaleas grow best in zones 6-9 (https://todayshomeowner.com/how-to-grow-azaleas/#:~:text=Azalea%20Growing%20Conditions&text=Azaleas%20do%20best%20in%20spots,pH%20of%205%20to%206.5.). These shrubs need little work but go a long way in when it comes to rewarding you. They are definitely a great choice to add to your garden or landscape.
Many people confuse azaleas with rhododendrons. However, rhododendron and azaleas are different species. They may look alike to the naked eye but are scientifically different and should not be mixed (https://gardenerspath.com/plants/ornamentals/propagate-azaleas/). Evergreen azaleas keep their leaves year-round. The evergreen azaleas come in different sizes. The flower color of these shrubs is breathtaking.
How to Choose Azaleas
Azalea comes in thousands of varieties. There are just too many of them to list here. You can choose the best variety for your garden depending on the area you live in and the space you have. If you have a limited space to plant azaleas, then you should look for smaller or dwarf type varieties. On the other hand, if you have lots of space in your garden to fill, then you can choose some of the older Formosa varieties of the flowering shrub. You can also get your hands on re-blooming varieties that offer multiple blooms each year. Keep in mind that some of the varieties can get quite big. Therefore, do your research before you choose any variety.
Where to Plant Azaleas
To plant your azalea shrubs, find a place that gets morning and afternoon shade (https://www.southernliving.com/garden/grumpy-gardener/how-to-grow-azaleas). The site you choose should get filtered light as the all-day sun on hot summer days will stress the plants and they will become more susceptible to pests and diseases.
Azaleas thrive in acidic and well-drained soil. The pH of the soil should be less than 6.0.
How to Plant Azaleas
Planting azaleas is easy. Spacing is very important when you are planting the shrubs as they can grow really large. So, the space you leave between each plant depends on the variety you are choosing. For larger bushes, you will need to leave more space between plants. For smaller ones, smaller spaces may work. However, make sure you thoroughly read the instructions that come with the plant to determine the correct distancing.
Here are step-by-step directions on how you can easily plant your azaleas.
- Set your plants where you want to plant them.
- Start digging a planting hole. The hole should be twice as big as the size of the root ball of the plant. It should also be as deep as the size of the root ball (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC1v5BWGRkM).
- Remove your azalea plant from the container and place it in the hole you have just dug. Make sure that the root ball and the soil line are even.
- Now, fill the area around the plant with a 50:50 mixture of soil and fertilizer. This will give your azalea plants the nutrition they need to thrive.
- Water your plant thoroughly. The soil should be soaked in water 2-3 times a week during the first two months. After that, you can gradually decrease the watering frequency. Watering just once a week is enough when the plant is 3-4 months old (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzlV3NTLfUQ).
- Now take some mulch and spread a layer of it around the root of your plant. Take care not to mound mulch against the plant. It will keep the soil from drying up and will lock in the nutrients that the plant needs for growing.
How do you make azaleas grow faster?
You can make azaleas grow faster by adding fertilizer to the roots.
How long does it take for azaleas to grow?
Different varieties of azaleas grow at different rates. Dwarf-sized plants usually grow quickly while the big ones take a little longer. Most of the varieties of azalea mature in 4-5 years.
How hard is it to grow azalea?
Azaleas are easy to grow. Refer to the information above on growing azaleas.
Why won’t my azaleas grow?
If your azaleas are not growing, there is a possibility of a disease. You may also have not grown your azaleas in the ideal conditions as mentioned above. Check the acidity of the soil as azaleas only thrive in acidic soil with a pH of less than 6.0.
Azaleas are care-free and easy to grow shrubs. Flowers grow from the flower buds of last year.
- Plant azaleas in a well-drained and acidic soil
- Azaleas should be watered regularly
- The site you choose for your azaleas should not get direct sunlight
This was all about growing azaleas. Have any more questions or want to add anything to the information? Get in touch with us in the comments.