Encore Azalea Care

Overview

Encore azaleas are a hybrid species of the popular garden plant commonly grown for their multiple blooming periods throughout the year. Encore azalea flowers appear in myriad different colors, depending on the cultivar. Encore azaleas first bloom in mid-spring, and then again in midsummer. These evergreen plants require little care to grow once established and make an excellent addition to any garden or landscape.

Step 1

Plant encore azaleas in a location that receives four to six hours of direct sunlight each day, preferably with partial afternoon shade. Spread 1 inch of organic compost over the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate into the soil.

Step 2

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding each encore azalea plant to increase moisture retention and suppress weeds. Start the layer of mulch 3 to 4 inches away from the base of the plant to reduce the chance of disease. Replenish the mulch as often as necessary to keep it 2 inches thick.

Step 3

Water encore azaleas once per week during the first year of growth. Reduce frequency thereafter to weeks that receives less than 2 inches of natural rainfall. Encore azaleas are drought tolerant and can often go for months at a time without regular watering.

Step 4

Feed encore azaleas once per year in early spring, just before new growth begins. Use a low nitrogen 5-10-10 NPK fertilizer to encourage the plant to produce flowers instead of foliage. Apply following the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage.

Step 5

Mulch encore azaleas to provide winter protection for the first three years of growth. Spread a 4-inch layer of straw mulch around the plants just before the first frost of winter to insulate the soil. Remove the mulch in late winter, just before new growth begins in spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Encore azaleas are extremely toxic to goats, sheep and horses, and should not be grown where they can be accessed by these animals. They are, however, safe for cats and dogs.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller
  • Organic mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Straw mulch

References

  • The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: More Blooms, More Often
  • EncoreAzalea.com: Take Care of Your Encore Azaleas and They'll Love You Forever
Keywords: Encore azaleas, Encore azalea, Encore azalea plants

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.