How to Care for Azaleas During a Rainstorm


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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Remove the tarp after the rainstorm has passed. Use garden shears to prune damaged limbs away from the plant.

Step 4

Add another 5-inch layer of fresh mulch to the azalea bed if the mulch washed away during the rainstorm.

Step 5

Consider transplanting azaleas under pine, spruce or juniper trees. These types of trees provide protection from heavy winds caused by rainstorms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never try to care for azaleas during periods of thunder and lightning. Remember that lightning can strike even during periods of light rain.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tarp
  • Bricks or other heavy object to hold down the tarp
  • Mulch
  • Garden shears


  • Clemson University Extension Service: Azalea Planting
  • University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Selecting and Growing Azaleas
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension Service: Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri Extension Service: Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons
  • National Gardening Association
  • National Azalea Society
Keywords: careing for azaleas, rainstorm, protecting azaleas

About this Author

Brandii Lacey began writing in 1997 at "The Mountain Times" in Boone, N.C. Her articles appear on, GardenGuides and eHow Home & Garden. She provides travel and lifestyle content for LIVESTRONG.COM. Lacey is the senior plays editor and on the nonfiction editorial team for "Mused Literary Review" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Appalachian State University.