Azaleas are beautiful flowering bushes. Many of these plants enjoy shade, but some can grow in full sun as well. Use these tough shrubs in the home landscape to add color. They are often used in foundation plantings and suit this purpose beautifully. Most azaleas are evergreen so you can enjoy year-round interest. All azaleas bloom in spring, but new reblooming varieties like Encore Azaleas offer 3 seasons of color. They bloom in spring and rebloom in summer and fall. Many azaleas are pest and disease resistant. They require little to no maintenance once they are established. Who would have thought that such a beautiful plant would be so easy to grow? Read on to learn how to plant azalea.
How to Plant Azalea
How to Plant Azalea
1. As soon as you receive your azalea bush, water it well. Keep the soil moist until you are ready to plant.
2. Dig a hole about 2 times wider than the root ball of your plant and as deep as it is tall.
3. Put your azalea in the hole and be sure that the top of the root ball is just slightly higher than the top of the hole. This way you know you haven’t planted too deep.
4. Backfill the native soil into the hole and around the root ball. If your soil is poor you can amend it with up to 50% organic planting mix. Just remember that your plant will need to acclimate to the native soil in order for the planting to be successful. So don’t overdo it with amendments. Tap the soil gently down with your hands.
5. Water deeply at the base of your azalea until the ground is thoroughly saturated.
6. Mulch can be added to help the soil retain moisture and keep weeds away. It is especially good for new plants that need almost constant moisture in order for them to establish properly.
7. This is probably the most important step in planting any plant! Water, water, water. The number one reason plants are unsuccessful is under-watering. Proper watering helps plants establish faster, grow faster, and be healthier. Water daily for the first week. Water deeply 1 to 3 times per week for the first 2 to 3 months. It varies depending on your climate and the time of year, but a good rule of thumb would be to water your azalea bush deeply 3 times per week for about 1 month, 2 times per week for month 2 and once per week for the third month. After this period, your plant will be drought tolerant and will only need to be watered during times of extreme drought.
How to Transplant Azalea
Sometimes azaleas get larger than expected and outgrow their spot. Sometimes we just want to take our azalea plants with us when we are moving. In these cases you'll need to know more than how to plant azaleas, but also how to transplant them. There are many reasons to transplant azaleas, but don’t take this chore lightly. It will take some work to successfully move an azalea.
1. Azaleas should be transplanted in fall or spring. The best time to transplant for warmer regions is fall. Although early spring and winter also work well for hot climates. The best time to move azaleas in cooler climates is spring.
2. Water your azalea deeply a few hours before digging it up. Transplanting after a nice rain makes your life easy and increases the likelihood of success.
3. Now dig! Get as much of the roots of your azalea as possible. If possible try to dig out the same width as the canopy. Get under the main root mass as much as you can. It is easiest to dig out a circle beyond where you will dig to get the outermost roots. This gives you room and leverage to get under the root mass.
4. Place the azalea on a tarp and move it to the new location. Replant it as soon as possible.
5. Water thoroughly. Care for your azalea just like you would a newly planted one. It will need to establish its roots all over again.