Florida Yards is reader-supported. When you buy via our links, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more

When to Plant Azaleas? (Advice From Experts)

Written by William Golder

Fact checked by Dorian Goodwin

when to plant azaleas

Whether white, pink, purple, or yellow, Azaleas are certainly beautiful and can add to the charm of your residence. If you want to grow these flowers in front of house and use them as decoration, it’s important to do so at the right time.

So when to plant Azaleas? You can prepare all the required tools, space, and seeds to plant them during spring or fall. Read on to learn about other conditions that ensure the health of this flora.

Best Time for Planting Azaleas

plant-azalea-bushes

In general, Azaleas require warm and cool climates without any extreme heat or freeze.

To be specific, most Azalea varieties cannot withstand temperatures under -5 degrees or over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

This fact influences the time for growing these plants, as you will see below.

1. In spring

Whether in a border or a pot, it’s wise to grow Azaleas in the spring. There are two reasons for this.

  • First, if you pick early spring, the weather is warm enough for root establishment but not so hot that it will harm the foliage of the plants.
  • Alternatively, late spring is also a good time. This is because Azaleas will be able to thrive under warm temperatures before the cold of winter arrives.

On the downside, picking this time means your flowers will need extra care once summer arrives.

In detail, you will need to water the soil more frequently, as the heat will dry it quickly. It’s best to remember that Azaleas need at least 1 inch of moisture per week.

At the same time, around three to five inches of mulch may be necessary to keep the plants from experiencing drought.

2. In fall

In addition to spring, you can plant Azalea bushes in the fall, whether you grow them in borders or pots.

If you pick this season, there will be a reasonably long period for Azaleas to develop before snow and freeze come. Plus, you won’t have to worry about these flowers wilting due to extreme heat.

That said, late autumn planting is not recommended for northern regions.

Other Conditions for Growing Azaleas

planting-azaleas

1. Temperature

Aside from the general temperature range above, there are other measurements to keep in mind if you want your Azaleas to thrive.

To start with, because you’re likely growing these plants for the flowers, it’s vital to keep the ambient temperature at 33 degrees Fahrenheit at the minimum. Otherwise, you won’t see any blossoms any time soon.

in-front-of-house

However, if the surrounding environment is very warm (70 degrees and above), Azaleas will bloom and wilt faster. This is something to keep in mind if you want your flowers to stay a bit longer.

To enjoy the sight of Azaleas the longest, I recommend keeping the heat below 65 degrees.

2. Soil

in-spring

Because Azaleas can’t handle extreme temperatures, the soil should not be overly cold or hot. It should be warm and not waterlogged or frozen.

In addition, before you grow Azaleas, make sure the ground has a pH of 4.5 to 6. Sphagnum peat moss, agricultural sulfur, or pine mulch can lower the pH if your soil is too alkaline.

Specifically, use two inches of peat moss and two to three inches of pine needle mulch. For the sulfur, follow the directions of the manufacturer.

Note that you don’t have to use all of these amendments at once. You can try one type and add another if the soil pH is not adjusted to the right level.

3. Sunlight

Before growing Azaleas, it’s vital to make sure you have the right spot for your garden beds or pots.

In detail, make sure the plants will get four to six hours of sunlight (four if you live in a southern state). Moreover, putting them in a partially shaded location is best.

4. Hardiness zone

best-time

Finally, before you plant Azaleas, you need to determine whether your city or county can accommodate them.

To be specific, the USDA categorizes the United States into thirteen hardiness zones. During the cold season, your location needs to be within zone 3 to zone 9 to make growing Azaleas possible.

The reason is zone 1 and zone 2 are too frigid for these flowers; the former has an average extreme temperature of -50℉ to -60℉, while the latter can reach -40 to -50℉.

In fact, most varieties of Azaleas can only thrive in zone 7 to zone 9. Below is a brief overview of the hardiness zones for these plants in the US.

To know which region your county or district belongs to, go to planthardiness.ars.usda.gov and look at the map for your area.

  • Some regions in zone 3 are:

Hallock, Roseau, Crane Lake, and Grand Rapids in Minnesota

Stanley, Mohall, Rolette, Atkin in North Dakota

Phillips, Sheridan, and Roosevelt in Montana

Aroostook and Franklin in Maine

  • Some regions in zone 4 are:

Meade, Haakon, Jackson, Hyde, and Kingsbury in South Dakota

Fremont, Natrona, and Campbell in Wyoming

Helena, Anaconda, and Livingston in Montana

  • Some regions in zone 5 are:

Plymouth, Hancock, Bremer, and Delaware in Iowa

Dawes, Garfield, and Cedar in Nebraska

Routt, Larimer, Weld, and Morgan in Colorado

  • Some regions in zone 6 are:

Deschutes, John Day, and Burns in Oregon

Worcester, Springfield, and Cambridge in Massachusetts

The majority of Ohio, such as Logan, Stark, and Belmont

  • Zone 7 includes:

Lynoburg, Charlottesville, and Woodbridge in Virginia

Montgomery, Charles, and Carolin in Maryland and the district of Columbia

Washita, Creek, and Mayes in Oklahoma

  • Zone 8 has but is not limited to:

Macon, College Park, and Athens in Georgia

Sierra, Nevada, and Trinity in Northern California

Jefferson, Thurston, and Lewis in Washington

  • Finally, the following places are in zone 9:

Webb, Zavala, and Frio in West Texas

Lewy, Clay, and Volusia in Florida

Acadia, Saint Landry, and Terrebonne in Louisiana

Tips on planting and caring for Azaleas

  • You can look at the seed description to know which hardiness zone the Azalea is for. For example, the Golden Lights hardy Azalea can grow in zone 3 to 7. On the other hand, the Nuccio’s Purple Dragon variety is for zones 7 to 9.
  • When growing Azaleas in containers, choose pots at least six inches Size up if the root of your plant is bigger.
  • If you grow more than one bush of Azaleas, give them six feet of space in between each other.
  • Prune your flowers in the spring after they finish blooming. Don’t delay this task until late summer.
  • To protect Azaleas against the cold, water them at least two days before a winter freeze.

Moreover, mulch the plants with three to four inches of compost or peat moss to boost insulation.

At the same time, use incandescent lights to warm the gardening area and cover the Azaleas with a light cloth.

Conclusion

When to plant Azaleas? You should do this task in spring and autumn when the soil is sufficiently warm and acidic, and your garden space has enough sunlight for the flowers.

If you are looking for the best time to plant flowers. Don’t forget to learn more about these articles:

Furthermore, it’s necessary to pick the right plant variety for your hardiness zone. Otherwise, your Azaleas won’t thrive like you expect them to.

We hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading.

5/5 - (2 votes)

A Few Words From the Author

William-Golder

William Golder