How to Plant Azaleas

Overview

Azaleas in the springtime are synonymous with a rebirth, a new life. Very few flowers produce the brilliant colors in the volume that azaleas do. Though these flowers generally are considered hearty, you can do some things to help ensure that the plants thrive in their new home. While it is impossible to guarantee success for any plant, you can do a lot to help give your new azaleas the best start possible.

Planting Azaleas

Step 1

Research the type of azaleas that grow well in your area. As a diverse plant capable of thriving in many different climates, azaleas can be grown in zones 5 to 9. It may even be possible to get them to grow in Zone 4. However, not all azalea varieties do well in all zones, so be wise in your choices.

Step 2

Check the soil acidity. Azaleas typically produce best in soils that have a pH factor between 5.5 and 6.0, which is relatively acidic. If the soil does not fall within this range, you may want to choose a more suitable location or consider planting in a container where the soil can be more closely regulated.

Step 3

Find some shade. As a hearty plant, azaleas can do well in a wide variety of conditions. However, full sunlight throughout the day can damage the plants and most likely bleach out some of the color from the blooms. Ideally, planting them in a location that gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon is best.

Step 4

Plant azaleas in the fall for the best results. Though azaleas can be planted any time of the year as long as there is not a freeze, a fall planting gives the plant enough time to settle in before winter.

Step 5

Dig a hole appropriate for the size of plant. The hole should be wider than the plant's root ball, but only deep enough so that the top of those roots are barely covered. This is because an azalea's root system generally runs very shallow.

Step 6

Keep the soil moist after planting. Plants with shallow root systems tend to not do as well in dry conditions because the root systems cannot reach down for water. While generous watering is sound advice for nearly any type of plant being replanted, it is especially critical to azaleas.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you plant azaleas too deep, crown rot, which is capable of killing the plant, could result.

Things You'll Need

  • Irrigation system

References

  • Planting Azaleas

Who Can Help

  • Zone Hardiness Map
  • Azaleas Q&A
Keywords: azaleas, planting azaleas, azalea care

About this Author

Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.