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How to Move Azalea Plants

By Cynthia Myers ; Updated September 21, 2017

The lush, silky blooms of azaleas have adorned Southern plantations and courthouses and ordinary homes for decades, one of the harbingers of Southern spring. Azaleas grow well in partial shade and the foliage stays green throughout the year, making them attractive landscape plants even when they're not blooming. If you purchase azaleas from a nursery, you must transplant them from the nursery pots to your yard. Or perhaps you want to move an azalea plant from another spot in the yard. You can transplant container plants almost any time, but November to March are the best times to plant or move azaleas.

Dig up the azalea from its original position in the yard. Dig straight down in the soil with a sharp spade, starting 1 foot from the base of the plant. Dig all the way around the plant, at least 12 inches deep. For large plants, you may have to dig down 18 inches or more. Gently work the shovel under the plant to loosen the plant from the ground, a little at a time. Use your hands to help lift the plant. Get as much of the roots as possible.

Dig the planting hole deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the plant. Azaleas should be planted at the same soil level they were growing before, but you'll want to dig about 3 inches deeper and 6 inches wider to allow for mixing in organic matter.

Mix peat moss, pine bark and/or compost with the dirt you remove from the planting hole. Refill the hole about 3 inches, or enough to bring the plant to the level it was previously planted.

Settle the azalea bush in the new planting hole. Fill in with a mixture of dirt and organic material. Tamp the soil lightly, but don't pack it in.

Water your azaleas. Add more dirt if necessary to fill in the hole.

Add 3 inches of mulch around the azaleas.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel or spade
  • Peat moss, pine bark or compost
  • Mulch


  • Space azalea bushes 3 to 5 feet apart, and 3 to 5 feet from the foundations of buildings, fences and other structures.

About the Author


Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.