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Hi guys, in this article I am going to answer a couple of questions that I see asked quite regularly with regards to caring and looking after azaleas.

Personally, azaleas are one of my favourite shrubs to bloom in the spring.

Appearing just as the bluebells are coming up and just as the daffodils are wilting; I find azaleas are a welcome addition to any garden.

They look great as a feature, or even as a shrub sat in a border. There is a nice variety of colours too.

However, you know all this, that’s why you’re here!

So, let’s dig in.

All pictures, as usual are taken by me.


How to grow Evergreen Azalea

Ok, so first off lets start with the basics. Let’s plant your azalea.

Like most shrubs, the best time to plant an azalea is in the autumn, this is when the shrubs become dormant for the winter.

Don’t worry though, if you plant one in the spring just make sure to keep it watered throughout the summer; if it’s too dry it may stress the newly planted roots and the shrub may struggle to take to the soil.

Choose a location: These azaleas are very hardy shrubs in my experience. They grow well in partial shade, however they can also withstand full sun, just not all day. If left in full blistering sun all day this may cause the leaves to burn.

Plant the shrub: If you’re planting the azalea from a pot, or you’re moving it from one place in the garden to another, make sure the hole is a fair bit bigger than the root ball, try and keep the root ball as intact as you can!

Once the hole is dug, if you fancy it you can put some compost in before you put the root ball in; this gives added nutrients and an added bit of drainage to the shrub.

Also, if planting from a pot don’t forget to pull apart and ruffle the ends at the bottom of the root ball.

Place the plant in the hole, backfill it and don’t forget to make it firm around the base of the plant. I tend to go around using my heel to press down ensuring the soil is as firm as possible; this makes sure the roots are properly embedded.

Once the above is complete, water the plant.

Keep watered: As mentioned above, if you’re going to plant in the spring make sure it’s watered regularly and keep an eye on it in extreme heat.

To ensure healthy growth, a little handful of fertilizer every spring will do the trick!

when does the evergreen azalea flowerHow and when to prune Evergreen Azalea

With any shrub you will plant, one day you’re going to have to maintain it!

Luckily the azalea doesn’t grow as quick as some of the other shrubs in your garden.

Pruning the azalea is pretty simple,

The real key to pruning these is it do it right after they have finished flowering.

When you can see the old dead flowers still on the shrub, this is the ideal time!

What happens is, if it’s left you will get new growth over the next month or two; and some of this new growth will have next years buds on them.

So, grab your secateurs.

Search for the unhealthy branches within the azalea, look out to see if they are dead, diseased, or if they cross over and rub on each other. If branches keep rubbing together they can have almost open wounds and this can infect the plant.

Remove all the unwanted or unhealthy branches; Once you’re happy with it, grab your shears and prune to your desired shape!

How big does an Evergreen Azalea grow?

These azaleas are relatively slow growers, they tend to grow up to 80cm within ten years.

The deciduous azaleas however grow much taller, reaching around 120-150cm (or 4 to 5 foot).

The evergreen azalea will keep its leaves throughout autumn whereas the deciduous one wont.

Where to plant the Evergreen Azalea and will it grow in the shade?

As mentioned in the first section, azaleas are pretty hardy and can grow in most places in the garden. They generally prefer part shade/part sun. Ideally dappled shade filtered through tall trees is best, this is what makes them a great border shrub.

Too much sun will result in burnt leaves and an overall poorly looking shrub.

Is the shrub frost hardy?

Because azaleas are part of the rhododendron family, naturally they are pretty hardy.

In my 10 years of gardening, with a couple of harsh winters thrown in there; I am yet to see an azalea die from frost.

Apparently the evergreen azalea is hardy to around -15 degrees, and the deciduous azaleas can survive up to (or down to, whichever way you look at it) a whopping -29 degrees!

So, if that’s a worry – I’m fairly certain it wont freeze to death, unless you live somewhere like Canada or Alaska.

How often does the Evergreen Azalea flower?

As you probably already know, they come in a wide variety of colour types.

From whites, to pinks, to peachy, to reds and even deep dark fuscia purple colours.

That’s a lot of really good colour combinations to use in your garden.

This picture below taken in my customers garden is a good example of a mix of the colours you can get.

Once flowering together, can look quite spectacular.

The beauty about this kind of azalea especially the Encore version, is that it will flower in the spring, all the way through to the summer, and then again in September.

Azaleas coming into bloom.


Can the Evergreen Azalea be grown inside?

If you like what you see in your garden border, you may want to bring some of that colour indoors.

Personally, I have never tried growing an Azalea indoors so I have done my own research on this instead.

It turns out, you can grow azaleas indoors!

As expected, don’t leave them in a spot with too much direct sunlight throughout the day.

Just as you would outside, leave it in a spot that’s well ventilated with bright light (not direct light).

Something airy like a conservatory will be ideal.

Are Azaleas Poisonous?

Azaleas contain a neurotoxin called ‘Grayanotoxin’ and this may be harmful to cats, dogs or other animals if ingested. I’ve written a full article on Azaleas being poisonous here.

If you have any other questions you would like answering, don’t hesitate to let me know. Send us an email and I would be happy to help!

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