How to Root Azaleas

By Susan Landis-Steward , last updated August 23, 2011

During the winter season, when and azalea is dormant, you can easily propagate new plants by rooting cuttings. You can also use cuttings taken from new growth in June or July, after the azalea finishes blooming. Azaleas are a member of the rhododendron family and provide a beautiful display of colorful flowers in the spring. Once blooming stops, the bush is a short, full, sturdy plant that provides plenty of green foliage in the garden.

Take cuttings two to three inches long and remove any buds and all but the top few leaves. Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone. Mix one part peat with a mixture of 1/2 sand and 1/2 perlite. Moisten the planting mix, but make sure it is not wet as this can cause the cuttings to rot. Plant the cuttings in containers filled with this mixture.

Place the containers in large plastic bag to create a humid greenhouse-like environment. Place these in a bright window with indirect light, or for best results, grow under fluorescent lights for 16 to 24 hours per day.

It will take two to four months for the cuttings to root. For a hardier plant, leave them for six months to let the roots get firmly established. Don't water too frequently as drier soil will promote more root growth. Apply weak fertilizer if desired but make sure you don't apply too much to avoid encouraging disease problems.

Keep your new azaleas inside during their first winter or transition them into a cold frame. Repot in late spring.

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