AZALEA
TemperatureTolerates 33-90° F. while in bloom & 20-90° F. during dormancy. Ideal is 50-70° F. Protect from heavy frost.
LightMedium light; avoid full sun except in cool climate.
WaterKeep moist at all times. Drench thoroughly but do not allow plant to sit in water for extended periods. Drying out or excessive moisture results in root damage and subsequent leaf drop.
FertilizerNone required while blooming. During growth period, use an acid fertilizer suitable for rhododendrons or azaleas. Do not over fertilize.
Soil100% peat moss in pots. In yard, well draining, peat moss-rich acidic soil is preferred.
USDA Zone(s)Zones 8, 9 & 10. Click here for a zone map.
AvailabilityYear Round
After Care
After your plant no longer has blossoms, you can either keep it in the pot or plant it outdoors (in appropriate areas.) To transplant, wait until it has finished blooming. (It's a good rule of thumb not to transplant flowering plants while they're blooming.) Whether you transplant to a larger pot or to the outdoors, place it in a cool shady area. In the yard, dig a large hole and fill it with peat moss or other organic matter such as bark or wood shavings mixed with sand. Plant the azalea with the top of the root ball slightly above soil level. Water well and thereafter keep the soil moist. Protect the plant if the weather turns cold. After the azalea has finished blooming, you can trim your plant if it needs shaping but the energy of the plant is in the foliage so do not cut back too severely. Cutting back too much may kill the plant. Some acid fertilizer during the growth period (following manufacturer's recommendations) would be helpful. For bud formation, azaleas need warm summer temperatures of over 65° F. followed by at least 6-8 weeks of cool night temperatures of 40-50° F. Without this cool period, the plant will continue to grow but may not produce flowers. If all goes well, you will be rewarded with a profusion of blossoms in the spring! At all times, make sure the soil is moist but not soggy. Remove pot-cover after watering well and replace whe excess water has drained. Azalea roots need constraint moisture but they also need air so over-watering and prolonged soggy soil can damage the plant almost as quickly as not enough water. If the soil does go dry and the plant wilts, try putting the whole pot in a pan of water for 20-30 minutes and let it soak until the soil is well saturated; remove and allow it to drain well (and hope the plant revives.) Azaleas like humidity so mist it from time to time.