How to Root Azaleas From Established Plants

Overview

A vast array of azaleas makes up the group of registered azaleas and they vary significantly in color, size and growth characteristics. Azaleas growing in North America are deciduous plants with blossoms in a multitude of different hues. Some azaleas grow as tall as 6 feet with sizable spread, while others are half this size. Depending upon your growing region, azaleas may bloom any time from early spring to late summer, with bloom periods lasting up to two weeks. If you have healthy azalea plants, root azaleas from established plants to create more plants for a growing space.

Step 1

Fill the planting container with a mixture of half peat moss and half perlite, mixing the two mediums together well. Water the rooting medium well to saturate it and allow the planting container to sit and drain for approximately 12 hours. Water the rooting medium again in the same fashion and allow the container to drain again.

Step 2

Cut stems approximately 5 inches long from new growth using the pruning shears. Make the stem cuttings before the end of May to ensure the stems are soft and pliable. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem, leaving only the upper-most leaves attached to the stem. Scrape the bottom ½ inch of outer covering from the stem with your fingernail to encourage rooting.

Step 3

Insert the bottom of the stem into the rooting hormone, covering the lower inch of the stem completely in the powder.

Step 4

Make indentations in the rooting medium with your finger for inserting the stems. Space holes 2 to 4 inches apart in a large pot (1-gallon size) or place one or two stems in a small container (4 to 6 inches in diameter).

Step 5

Insert the stems into the prepared holes approximately 2 inches into the medium. Firm the soil lightly around the stems with your fingers so they stand straight.

Step 6

Spray the surface of the rooting medium with the spray bottle to saturate it. Do not spray the stems--spray only the soil.

Step 7

Cover the container with the plastic bag and secure the bag to the container with a rubber band. Place the container in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight.

Step 8

Spray the rooting medium every day to keep it moist. Watch for indications of rooting within one to two months. When you notice new growth beginning on the stems, vent the plastic bag slightly to allow fresh air to the stems. Remove the bag completely after two or three days of venting the bag.

Step 9

Fertilize the rooted cuttings by mixing the fertilizer at half the strength recommended on the fertilizer package. Pour the fertilizer carefully onto the rooting medium.

Step 10

Provide additional light after the cuttings root. Place the cuttings in a location with approximately four hours of direct sunlight each day or use a grow light. Stop the light exposure in the autumn to allow the rooted cuttings to enter dormancy. Transplant the cuttings to containers of potting soil or an outdoor growing location the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Granular rooting hormone
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Planting container
  • Spray bottle (filled with water)
  • Plastic bag (gallon size)
  • Rubber band
  • All-purpose fertilizer (water-soluble)
  • Grow light (optional)

References

  • Azalea Society of America: Propagation
Keywords: azaleas grow, azalea plants, root azaleas

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.