How to Plant an Azalea Tree


Azaleas are a popular garden specimen in southern landscapes. Their white, pink and yellow blooms are short-lived, but an undeniable mark of a new spring season. When planting an azalea, it is crucial to get the planting depth correct for the type of soil where the tree will be planted. Determine whether the soil in your planting area is sandy or clay, and make planting adjustments accordingly.

Step 1

Remove the azalea from its container. Place the container on its side and carefully slide the tree out.

Step 2

Use your hands to loosen the roots (ones that are not pot-bound) by pulling them outward.

Step 3

Loosen pot-bound roots by making three to six vertical cuts along the sides of the root ball with a sharp knife. Make the cuts about 2 inches deep, and space them equally.

Step 4

Water the rootball.

Step 5

Use a shovel to prepare the planting hole. Dig an area that is twice as wide as the azalea's root ball. Put the soil aside.

Step 6

Add organic material such as compost or ground pine bark to the soil. Mix it thoroughly and until it makes up one half of the mixture.

Step 7

Place the root ball in the center of the hole allowing the top to sit approximately 1 inch above the soil. (This is for sandy soil.) For clay soil, allow the root ball to sit 2 to 4 inches above the soil grade.

Step 8

Fill the plant with the soil that was used to dig the hole. Pack the soil around the roots with your hands.

Step 9

Apply a layer of mulch, 3 to 4 inches thick, around the base of the azalea, about 1 or 2 inches away from the trunk. Water thoroughly after planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Shovel
  • Organic material
  • Mulch
  • Water hose


  • University of Georgia: Selecting and Growing Azaleas
Keywords: planting an azalea, about planting azaleas, azaleas

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.