Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

When Do I Plant Azaleas Outdoors?

Azalea image by fabiomarc from Fotolia.com

Azaleas are commonly planted outside during the spring and fall. Container-grown azaleas are placed in the ground whenever the soil is workable as long as there is plenty of water to keep the root area moist.

Advantages

Azaleas ready for spring planting are usually in flower so you can see what the shrub will look like. Fall-planted azaleas have the time to establish their roots before the extreme heat of summer arrives.

Disadvantages

Azaleas planted in the spring need regular watering until fall to survive the summer heat. Fall-planted azaleas are not in bloom so you do not know what the blossom actually looks like until next year.

Warning

Azaleas grown in containers may be root-bound when purchased. Check the roots to see if they are circling the root ball. If they are, make four equally spaced cuts 1/4 inch deep to encourage the roots to grow outward. Gently spread the roots out when placing the azalea bush in its planting hole.

Azalea Plants Are For Indoors And Outdoors?

Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) are shrubby plants with showy flowers and a neat and tidy growing habit. Often called Japanese azaleas, evergreen azaleas arose after several centuries of interbreeding native species in Japan. These azaleas grow from 3 to 8 feet tall. They were called Indian or Belgian Indian hybrids. Evergreen azalea groups include Kurume, Satsuki, Kaempferi, Glenn Dale hybrids, Back Acre hybrids, Robin Hill hybrids, August Kehr hybrids, Gable hybrids, Linwood hybrids -- usually grown by florists -- and Harris hybrids. Encore hybrids are remarkable because they bloom twice a year in spring and autumn. Many evergreen azalea cultivars grown as florist's azaleas cannot stand freezing temperatures, making them hardy to USDA zones 8 through 10. Prune the plant right after bloom. Sink the pot up to the rim in the garden soil. Give water regularly and fertilize every two to three weeks with a high acid, low nitrogen fertilizer that is high in phosphorus to encourage bud formation. Evergreen azalea flower colors are various shades of white, red and purple with a few oranges. Two or more colors can combine in a flower.

Garden Guides
×