How to Grow Azaleas in Pots : How To Care For Azaleas

Learn how to grow azaleas in pots indoors or outdoors in garden bed, as I am growing them in Australia. You will know proper soil for azaleas, how to water azaleas, pruning azalea plants to ensure the plants perform at their best every year and also care for potted azaleas to get more blooms on your azaleas. The azalea plants are easy to care for, but there are some problems with azaleas in pots, continue reading below to grow and look after azaleas easily in containers and get beautiful flowers, even on indoor potted azaleas.

How to grow Azaleas, Azalea blooms
Azalea blooms

You can grow azaleas from cuttings or buy an azalea from garden shop and growing indoors in a pot or outdoor, follow the azalea care tips given below. I am growing azaleas in Australia, but the tips for caring azaleas are the same for elsewhere.

Where To Plant Azaleas

Where is the best place to plant azalea bushes?

  1. Planting the azalea in proper location is the most important care to ensure its good growth and for providing lots of flowers.
  2. Azaleas likes neither heavy shade nor heavy sun. Too much or too little sun can stress azaleas and make them susceptible to pests. 
  3. In heavy shade (less light), the azalea plant will produce less blooms.
  4. Plant your azalea in a location that receives filtered light or morning sun and afternoon shade.
  5. If you keep your azalea indoors, then place it near an east or west window to allow enough bright light.
  6. Locate your azalea in bright light to encourage lots of blooms.

How To Grow Azaleas : Best Pot For Azaleas

  1. Azaleas can grow in any pot including plastic, terracotta, ceramic or clay pots. Plastic pots work well if you place your potted pot in a bright shade, but may bot be good in too cold weathers. Also a plastic pot will heat the soil too much in hot sun.  Thicker pots like clay and terracotta will protect the plants in both winter and hot sun. 
  2. The pot should have many drainage hole to drain excess water, otherwise, standing water in soil will rot the roots.
  3. You can repot your azalea in a pot of higher size after 4-5 years when the plant becomes root bound. Loosen the roots before repotting in the new pot.

How To Grow Azaleas In Containers: Soil For Azaleas in Pots

  1. Azaleas require well-drained, acidic soil to grow in pots or garden bed to thrive.
  2. Azaleas love loose, well-drained acidic soil. If the soil becomes waterlogged, the roots may develop root rot. Add lots of organic matter like compost and some river sand or perlite to make it drain quickly. 
  3. Use acidic potting mix specially made for azaleas. To improve the soil, amend it with well-rotten leaves and composted pine bark.

How To Care For Potted Azaleas : Watering Azaleas

Provide The Correct Amount of Water

  1. Water your azalea frequently with correct amount of water to maintain consistent moisture levels for best flower production. The lack of proper watering at all times of the year will affect the flower bud formation.
  2. Do not water on the foliage to avoid any diseases. 
  3. If the azaleas are not getting enough moisture, flowers will be less. Proper mulching with 2 to 3 inches of pine bark or pine needles can help the plant to retain the moisture it needs for flower production.  The azaleas need quite a bit of moisture in order to produce beautiful flowers.
  4. In garden beds, the plants need about an inch of water each week. Water potted plants deeply until it drains out from the bottom holes, throw away water from the saucer.

Care For Azaleas : Mulching Azaleas

  1. Mulching azaleas is very important to preserve moisture in the soil, prevents weeds, improves flower production and overall health. 
  2. Keep the mulch away from the trunk and ensure it should be course like pine bark or pine needles to allow plenty of air and water flow in soil .

Growing Azaleas : How and When To Prune Azaleas In Pots

  1. Azaleas need light pruning at the correct time.
  2. Pruning azaleas control their size and also can increase airflow around preventing diseases. If your azaleas are putting out less flowers, try to prune your Azaleas.
  3. Prune Your Azaleas at The Right Time. The question is when you should prune azaleas? Incorrect time of pruning is the most common reason why azaleas do not bloom. Lightly prune your azalea just after the flowers have died in late spring or very early summer to increase your flowers the following blooming season. Azalea buds start to form before the next year’s spring, so if you prune your Azalea in late summer or early fall, you may be cutting off the next year’s blooming buds. Deadhead spent blooms each year.

Repot Your Azalea so it is Not Rootbound

  1. If the azaleas are growing in containers for more than 2-3 years, they become rootbound. This will prevent the roots to get proper hydration and the plant will not produce many flowers. So be sure to transfer the plant into a new pot, 2 size bigger.
  2. When planting your azalea in the landscape, make sure to break up the root ball helping the roots to spread out in the ground. 
    Azalea growing in a Pot
    Growing Azalea in a Pot

How To Fertilize Azaleas?

  1. Fertilizing at the wrong type of fertilizer or wrong time may impact on the flower production. 
  2. Azaleas need a balanced fertilizer containing all the necessary nutrients. Chemical fertilizers often contain too much nitrogen will encourage foliage growth rather than flowers. Adding fertility by compost, cow manure or leaf mould will benefit the plants.
  3. Feed a balanced fertilizer in late winter or early spring before the plants start to bloom. 
  4. Do not fertilize after summer.
  5. Carefully fertilize your potted azaleas, apply fertilizer near the rim of the pot and then water,

Protect Azaleas From Harsh Weather

  1. Harsh cold weather and frost can cause bud and bloom damage like brown-coloured buds or buds do not open up to flower.
  2. First of all, pick up an azalea variety that is appropriate and for your hardiness zone and will survive the cold in your area.
  3. If your azalea shrub is not hardy in your area, you should provide adequate winter protection for your plant. You can cover the plant with cotton bed sheets or a blanket. If you are growing azaleas in a container, move it in an unheated room.

Why Azaleas Not Blooming? 

How to Encourage Your Azaleas to Produce More Blooms

When do azaleas bloom? Azaleas bloom in the spring. If you care for your azaleas regarding soil, watering, pruning as mentioned above, then the plant will grow nicely and produce plenty of flowers every year. Following are the important points to take care of for producing abundance of beautiful blooms on your azaleas.

  1. Ensure the plants are getting bright light.
  2. Water frequently throughout the year, Maintain moisture in the soil.
  3. Apply a thick layer of mulch and provide moisture to the plant.
  4. Deadhead spent blooms each year.
  5. Prune at the correct time. Remember that azaleas produce flowers on the old wood.
  6. Feed balanced fertilizer at correct time.
  7. Protect the plant during cold winters.

Growing Azaleas : Companion Plants For Azaleas

The most common companion plants for azaleas are Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel) and Pieris japonica (Japanese andromeda), ferns, Solomon's seal (Polygonatum), wild ginger (Asarum), hosita, toad lily (Tricyrtis), etc. Many of these plants are medium-size evergreen shrubs with good flowers.

Video on How To Grow Azaleas

Grow Azaleas in containers video
Grow Azaleas from cuttings video
Azalea propagation from cutting in water video
How to prune azaleas video
How to grow azaleas from cuttings
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