Tips on How to Grow Azalea Plants
Texas is blessed with good, subtropical climate, which allows its residents to grow some of the most colorful and beautiful plants – azaleas. The azalea plant is hardy and can tolerate sunny weather.
The azalea blooms have different characteristics. Blooms may be single or double, in varying sizes and hues, making for a breathtaking display of garden color. Its attractive plant form, relatively hassle-free cultivation, and evergreen foliage are some of the reasons for its popularity.
By making careful choices, gardeners can enjoy these plants. With proper selection and the necessary attention to light and soil, they can be grown virtually anywhere in Texas.
Before you go to your local nursery to buy some, it’s best to invest some time developing a landscape plan. Choose plants that don’t distract from the beauty of your yard, but enhance it. Consider the plants’ ultimate size. Also, the color of the blooms should compliment other landscape plants. Pay attention to other factors as well, such as the drainage, soil, and light exposure.
Here are some valuable tips on how to grow azalea plants.
1. Azalea plants grow well in a highly organic soil, and placed in filtered sunlight. Ideally, they should be grown under a large tree. A north or east-facing side of the house would also be a good spot.
2. The soil should have good drainage. Plant your azaleas in sandy loam that is rich with organic matter. If you don’t have an ideal soil, don’t worry – you can still grow azaleas by making a raised bed. Whatever the kind of soil you use, add compost, ground bark, leaf mold, or peat moss to encourage aeration and drainage.
3. Plant azaleas without letting the trunk be covered in mulch or soil. Do not bury the crown either. It’s best if you place it with the top of the roots a little above ground level.
4. Azaleas have shallow root systems, and they can dry out fast. Maintain a good layer of mulch on the soil’s surface. This will help it retain a consistent level of moisture, and will keep the bed weed-free.
5. Water new plants regularly, while keeping in mind that these plants are sensitive to waterlogged soil. Do not keep the bed too wet. For grown plants, water during the summer season to keep it from wilting. You may soak the roots thoroughly about 1-2 times per week.
6. Fertilize azaleas in spring, but not later than August. Do not fertilize in concentrated piles. Use only small amounts of fertilizer per application, and distribute evenly. It’s best to use fertilizers that are designed for acid-loving plants.
7. The flower buds of the azalea plant form in late summer. Prune the branches immediately after it blooms to encourage solid growth, but it’s advisable not to prune after summer season.
Good azalea care comes with a good understanding of the basics on how to grow azalea plants. Keep them healthy throughout the growing season, and you’ll be sure to enjoy their blooms for many springs and summers.
“Azalea Time Down South,” Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, https://easttexasgardening.tamu.edu/2014/07/14/azaleas/
“Azalea: The Essential Southern Plant,” Southern Living, https://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/azalea-plants
“Azalea Culture in Harris County,” Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, http://counties.agrilife.org/harris/files/2011/05/azaleas.pdf
“How to care for Encore® Azaleas in North Central Texas,” Encore Azalea, https://www.encoreazalea.com/gardening/article/special-tips-for-north-central-texas