Azaleas are shrubs that produce large blooms in garden landscapes. Azaleas are botanically classified as Rhododendron. A key difference between the two involves stamens and flowers. Azaleas have five stamens with funnel-shaped flowers, and rhododendrons have 10 or more stamens, with bell-shaped flowers. Rainstorms can break azalea branches and damage blooms. However, there are measures you can take before and after a rainstorm to help protect azaleas.
Add a 5-inch layer of mulch to azaleas after planting, or prior to the rainstorm, if possible. Azaleas are susceptible to root rot caused by excess water. Mulch helps absorb excess water, keeping it away from the plant root.
Cover azaleas with a plastic tarp, and secure the tarp on each side of the azalea with a brick or other heavy object. Allow enough room for the tarp to cover but not crush the blooms.
Remove the tarp after the rainstorm has passed. Use garden shears to prune damaged limbs away from the plant.
Add another 5-inch layer of fresh mulch to the azalea bed if the mulch washed away during the rainstorm.
Consider transplanting azaleas under pine, spruce or juniper trees. These types of trees provide protection from heavy winds caused by rainstorms.