How to Plant Indica Hybrid Azalea


An evergreen, the Indica hybrid azalea (Rhododendron indicum) offers cold hardiness down to 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the variety. It attains a height of up to 12 feet with a width of up to 8 feet. The Inca hybrid azalea grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 7 to 9. These azaleas produce single, semi-double and double flowers in shades of pink, red, lavender and white. In the southern United States they can also have a repeat bloom cycle in the fall. The flowers measure up to 3 inches in width.

Step 1

Plant the Indica azalea hybrid in full sunlight. The shrubs are often called "sun azaleas," according to the University of California.

Step 2

Look for a location that offers well-draining soil. The plant requires adequate oxygen within the soil to help prevent root rot. Soils that are wet for extended periods of time lack abundant oxygen, according to Clemson University. The plant will not tolerate a wet root system. It also prefers a soil pH of 4.5 to 6.0.

Step 3

Add aged manure to the planting hole prior to planting the azalea. The soil should feel crumbly to the touch.

Step 4

Place 4 inches of pine bark mulch over the planting location. Till the soil 6 to 8 inches deep prior to planting and work the pine bark mulch into the top layers of the soil.

Step 5

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball of the azalea shrub. Make the hole's width twice as wide as the root ball.

Step 6

Plant the azalea shrub at the same level it was planted in its nursery container. Place the plant directly into the center of the soil

Step 7

Cover the plant's root system with the dirt that has had pine bark and aged manure added to it. Tamp the soil down firmly around the azalea's root system.

Step 8

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the Indica azalea shrub. Use bark chips, pine needles or straw. Mulch will reduce weed growth.

Step 9

Water the azalea thoroughly once planted. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged around the newly planted azalea. The plant should be watered slowly to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Aged manure
  • Pine bark mulch
  • Tiller
  • Mulch (pine bark mulch, pine needles or straw)


  • Clemson University: Azalea Planting
  • North Carolina State University: Azaleas for North Carolina
  • North Carolina State University: Southern Indica hybrid azaleas
  • University of Florida: Azaleas

Who Can Help

  • University of California: Evergreen Azaleas
Keywords: Indica hybrid azalea, Indica azalea care, planting Indica azalea

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.