Texas loves its azalea plants. It can tolerate sunny weather well, not to mention that they are one of the hardiest and most colorful plants. Placed in flower beds or lined along garden borders, azaleas make a beautiful addition to any landscape. Compared to other flowering plants, the azalea is not a hungry plant and typically does well without fertilizer. Unless these plants show signs of nutrient deficiency, feeding azaleas might not be necessary.
Azaleas with a nutritional deficiency manifest the following signs:
- Stunted growth
- Dead branch tips
- Produces small leaves
- Yellowing leaves
- Leaves that drop early
Know that the signs outlined above may be caused by other factors in their growing conditions like compacted soil. It’s important that you get your soil tested by a professional first to check it if is lacking in nutrients. Once you determine that the symptoms are caused by a lack of nutrients in the soil, proper fertilization will help.
The soil test can help determine the kind of fertilizer to use. Generally, a balanced fertilizer that has a 15-15-15 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK) will do the job well.
In most cases, your azalea plant might be suffering from nitrogen deficiency. Many fertilizer recommendations for azaleas are based on nitrogen. Spread the fertilizer over the root area, since your aim is to feed the plant roots.
The roots of the azalea plant can extend thrice as far as the distance from the branch tips to the trunk. If that distance is 3 feet, it’s best if you fertilize at least 9 feet from the trunk. Sprinkle the fertilizer within the 9-foot radius, then water it sufficiently.
It is not necessary to set up a feeding schedule since it is not recommended that you fertilize the plants all throughout the growing season. As mentioned, you should only fertilize when the shrubs are showing signs of distress or poor nutrition. Be careful not to overfertilize, especially during periods of drought when the plant will not receive adequate water.