Landscapes are greatly enhanced when there are colorful shrubs present. And with all the colors azaleas offer in many regions of the country, they are ideal choices.  

Azaleas provide great versatility with their color options for homeowners all over the country. If you’d like to elevate the beauty of your landscape, azaleas can certainly fill the bill.

Let’s take a closer look at these floral options and, how to care for azaleas, so you can better understand where they might perform best in your yard and what impacts they can make.

Are Azaleas Hard To Grow?

Like most plants, azaleas grow and bloom best in conditions that suit them, depending on the species you choose.

Azaleas don’t like dense shade, but they don’t like hours of direct sunlight either, most specifically the hot afternoon sun. Most azaleas generally prefer filtered or partial shade. The excess sun can burn azaleas leaves, while too little limits blooms.

While there are both evergreen and deciduous azaleas, as well as varieties that can grow in hardiness zones 5 to 9, choosing a suitable plant for your yard will ensure they flourish year after year.

Do Azaleas Come Back Every Year?

Azaleas are woody plants, and while there are varieties that will drop leaves in the fall and return in the spring, most azaleas are considered evergreen, especially in the southern states.

With proper attention to pruning, fertilization, watering, and mulch, as well as planting in the right location, azaleas will perform at a high level with very little maintenance.

When Do Azaleas Bloom?

Azaleas typically flower from late March to mid-May, but as you read about different varieties, you might be asking yourself, “How long do azaleas bloom?”

Bloom times will vary, depending on weather and location, flowering earlier in warmer regions and later in cooler climates. Certain varieties can repeat blooming for several months from midsummer through fall.

A great way to get repeat and varied blooms is to plant different varieties in your landscape beds to ensure flowers throughout the growing season. This is also dependent on the region of the country you live in.

How To Care For Azaleas

In addition to proper watering in the morning to allow the sun to dry any water that lands on leaves, and a nice 2-inch layer of mulch to keep the soil moist, you’ll want to follow these care tips to keep your azaleas healthy and thriving.

  • When to fertilize azaleas - Fertilize azaleas in spring, right after they bloom.
  • When to plant azaleas - In milder regions, you can plant azaleas nearly any time of the year, but spring or fall are generally best. Azaleas prefer slightly acidic soil.
  • When to prune azaleas - Most of the time, azaleas bloom on old wood, so they set their blooms for the coming year on this year’s growth. To ensure you don’t cut off these blooms, prune your azaleas within 3 weeks after they finish blooming. You can remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches any time of year.
  • Do deer eat azaleas? - Unfortunately, deer do like azaleas, nibbling on both the leaves and stems.

What Is The Difference Between Azaleas And Rhododendrons?

Many people think of rhododendrons and azaleas as two different plants, but they are actually both members of the plant genus Rhododendron.

While both plants require similar care, there are actually some key variations between them.

First, azaleas typically have smaller leaves. The blooms of the two plants are also different. Azalea blooms are funnel-shaped, while rhododendron blooms are bell-shaped. Rhododendrons, in fact, tend to boast bigger flowers and leaves, and thrive in cooler climates.

While rhododendrons are always evergreen, azaleas can be either evergreen or deciduous depending on the variety.

Both azaleas and rhododendrons can bloom in spring, with some varieties blooming into summer and fall in certain climates. Double-blooming azalea varieties will bloom once in spring and then again in summer.


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