How to Grow Azalea - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Trees Category   /   2022

Azalea, a member of the Rhododendron genus, is a popular ornamental plant. There are many different species of azalea, and they come in a wide range of colors, from white to pink to purple. Azaleas are relatively easy to grow, and they make a beautiful addition to any garden.

How to Grow Azalea - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Azalea plant? So, if you're thinking of planting an azalea, be sure you're prepared to give it the attention it needs. Azaleas are beautiful flowering shrubs that come in a variety of colors. Though they are often seen as delicate flowers, they are actually quite hardy. Azaleas do best in well-drained, acidic soil and need to be protected from the hot afternoon sun. They also require regular watering and fertilizing. So, if you're thinking of planting an azalea, be sure you're prepared to give it the attention it needs. With a little care, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful, blooming shrub.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The reason that they are so popular is that they come in a wide range of sizes. They can range anywhere from 12 cm to 40 cm in height. Most of them are formed as a plant stem, but some may be higher.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Common ly, azaleas are found in the wild with a height of 1-2 feet. However, some species of azalea can grow taller, up to 6 feet. The age of the plant also affects its height, with younger plants being shorter than older plants. In general, azaleas grow best in acidic soils with good drainage and plenty of organic matter.

Azalea Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Tree
Family Rhododendron
Origin China, the Himalayas

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The reason they are short-lived in the wild is because they grow on forest floors where they are constantly being shaded out by taller trees. In the landscape, they are often planted in too much sun or too much shade, which stresses the plant and reduces its lifespan. The best way to ensure a long life for your azaleas is to plant them in a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. With proper care, they should last many years.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? While the plant prefers warmer weather, it can survive in colder weather as long as it is taken care of properly. The plant should not be exposed to temperatures below 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit or it will start to experience damage. During the summer, the ideal temperature for the plant is between 53.6 and 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature exceeds 60.8 degrees, the plant will begin to dry out quickly.


What about the humidity? When the relative humidity (RH) is below 40%, the air is too dry for most plants, especially tropical plants. The air will pull moisture out of the plant, causing it to wilt and eventually die.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Because they enjoy bright light, an azalea plant is a good choice for an east or west window. However, the light should not be direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves. In nature, azaleas grow in the lower tier of the forest, so they are used to filtered light.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Azalea? While the plant is native to Asia, the soil in which it grows best is actually quite similar to what you might find in your own backyard. The best soil for azalea plants is called "loam." Loam is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay. It's easy to find at garden centers, and you can make your own by mixing these three ingredients in equal parts. The soil should have a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which you can test with a pH kit from a garden center or online.

Watering Time

How much I must water Azalea? Sometimes, gardeners make the mistake of thinking that azaleas don't need much water. In fact, during flowering, regular watering is essential, as the soil should not dry out. In summer, watering can be done by immersing the pot in a container of water. Use only soft water.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Since these plants are native to acid soils, they prefer a fertilizer for acid-loving plants. You can use a fertilizer specially made for azaleas or rhododendrons, or a general-purpose fertilizer that has a lower middle number. For example, a 5-10-5 fertilizer has a lower middle number than a 10-10-10 fertilizer and is therefore more acid-loving. Use a fertilizer without lime.


How to reproduce Azalea? If you want to grow an azalea from a cutting, you can do it in the springtime in a greenhouse (or covered with polyethylene). You should place the cutting in a mixture of peat and perlite and keep it under diffused light or under fluorescent lamps. The cutting will usually bloom in 2-3 years.

Caring The Azalea

How to care the plant? So, in indoor conditions, growing is associated with considerable difficulties due to high temperatures in the room. You should Place the pot as close to the stalk as possible, in the coldest place in the room. Plants require trimming from spring to June.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Azalea plant? So, if the leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow and dry, it is necessary to carefully examine the plant. Most likely, the spider mite has got to it, which greatly affects the plant. Without moisture and dry air, the leaves of the plant begin to dry out and fall off. If the plant is too watered, the leaves also begin to fall off, but do not dry out. The top leaves are small due to lack of nutrition. All these problems arise from insufficiently acidic soil.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Azalea poisonous? Since all parts of the plant contain andromedotoxin and grayanotoxin, every year there are cases of poisoning of grazing animals, such as cows, sheep, and horses, that have eaten the leaves. These toxins are water-soluble, so wilting the leaves does not remove the hazard.