How to Root Azalea Plants

Overview

There are thousands of varieties of azalea, or Rhododendron spp., which is a flowering shrub related to cranberries and blueberries. Azalea is an acid-loving plant that requires a soil pH below 6.0 to thrive in is USDA Hardiness Zones--5a through 8b. Propagating azalea with cuttings is an easy process and a way to get new plants.

Step 1

Fill the planting pot with vermiculite or perlite, and water it until it is drenched and the water runs from the bottom of the pot. Use a pencil to create 2-inch deep planting holes, evenly spaced around the pot.

Step 2

Choose stems from the azalea that are from the current year's growth. They should be green but just starting to turn woody. Bend the stems, and if they snap, they are at the proper stage for rooting.

Step 3

Cut 3-inch pieces from the tips of the branches. Remove all leaves and buds from the bottom 1/3 of each cutting.

Step 4

Pour a dime-sized amount of rooting hormone into a small dish and dip the cut ends of the cuttings into the hormone. Dispose of any leftover hormone.

Step 5

Stick the cut end of each piece of stem into the moist planting medium in the pot to within 1/2 inch of the bottom leaves and press the medium around each cutting.

Step 6

Place the potted azalea cuttings into a plastic bag and secure the top. Put the bagged pot in a bright area but out of the direct sun. If you are using lights, place the lights 6 inches over the cuttings and allow them to run for at least 16 hours per day.

Step 7

Check the cuttings occasionally to make sure that the planting medium remains moist. Use a spray bottle filled with water to mist it if it feels dry.

Step 8

Remove the pot from the bag when the cuttings root, usually within two to four months. Allow the cuttings to remain in the pot, keeping the perlite just slightly moist, until the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 to 3 gallon planting pot (per six cuttings)
  • Vermiculite or perlite
  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Transparent plastic bag

References

  • Azalea Society of America
  • University of Georgia: Azalea Cuttings Easy to Root
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Rooting Rhododendron and Azalea Cuttings
Keywords: root azalea cuttings, propagate azalea bush, grow azalea cuttings

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing.