Azaleas are popular shrubs known for their lush, abundant blooms and easiness to care for. Their flowers arrive in a variety of colors including white, red, purple, and orange and add splashes of vibrant color to any garden. The best part is these plants are really easy to grow and maintain. If you take the time early on to plant your azalea in the proper location, then you will be rewarded with copious blooms and a beautiful garden landscape for years to come.
These plants grow best in areas that receive morning sun and shade in the afternoon. They do not grow well when placed in direct sunlight for too long and are often grown under larger trees where they can get ample shade. Too much sunlight can burn its leaves and decrease growth. Also, make sure to amend your soil before planting. Add in compost or aged manure to aid in drainage and provide nutrients to the plant bed.
Plant your azalea in early spring right before the growing season. You want to dig a hole that is slightly smaller than the plant’s root ball and about twice as wide. Make sure the root ball is slightly protruding from the ground’s surface when in the hole. Backfill the hole halfway and water thoroughly to begin saturating the plant’s roots. Continue to fill the hole and water again when finished. Apply a 2 inch layer of organic mulch to aid in water retention and decrease weed growth.
During the first growing season water your azalea regularly. Water once a week and make sure that the soil doesn’t dry out. After mature, these shrubs should grow well on water supplied by rainfall. You can also apply a light spray of organic all-purpose fertilizer in early spring and summer. This will stimulate blooms, however make sure not to use a fertilizer high in nitrogen as this will increase foliage growth but decrease blooms.