Most azalea varieties bloom in the spring with some blooming a month or so earlier.
Blooms typically last for one or two weeks. In warm climates, some azalea varieties bloom again in the autumn.
Photo - D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/Shutterstock.com
Our tips for the best display:
- High shade is preferable but deciduous varieties do well in full sun, especially in cool areas. While more sun typically produces more compact plants with more blooms, the blooms will not last as long.
- Slightly acid soil (pH 5.5-6) is best
- A thick mulch of pine needles or sugar cane helps to keep moisture in the ground, even out changes in the soil temperature and stops weeds germinating.
- Azaleas do not like "wet feet" so plant your azalea with the top of the root ball a few inches above ground level and mulch well. This is particularly
important with heavy clay soil.
Photo - KPG_Payless/Shutterstock.com
- Azaleas like moist soil at their roots. This may require supplementary watering, at least until plants are established in the ground for a few years.
Adequate water after bloom helps to produce more flower buds for next year. An infrequent deep soaking is more effective than superficial sprinkling.
The amount of water needed depends on the soil, temperature, humidity, wind and sunlight.
- Established azaleas do not need fertilizer, just a mulch of cow manure to feed the soil.
To avoid cutting off next year's flower buds, do major pruning of azaleas soon after they bloom. Shortening or removal of long slender stems with no side shoots and cutting out dead wood may be done at any time.
- Use a fungicidal spray in the spring as the buds show colour will control petal blight, a fungal disease that causes petals to collapse.