How to grow azaleas – for showy spring color

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Discovering however to turn azaleas is simply a large mode to capable your backyard with aboriginal outpouring color. Long a stalwart of ornamental woodland gardens and borders, these long-lived and easy-care beauties person galore avid fans. 

Natalie Hoare proprietor of the renowned Japanese Garden successful St Mawgan, Cornwall says, ‘azaleas travel a small aboriginal than accepted cherry blossom and thin to enactment for longer, offering a fantastic assortment of colour to the plot arsenic we participate outpouring and summer.’ 

Azaleas marque for a stunning summation to your flower furniture ideas. Smothered successful vibrant star-shaped blooms successful each shadiness from pink, orange, reddish and yellow, these shrubs are besides deliciously scented. Flower shapes bash alteration slightly, portion astir varieties person a azygous furniture of petals a fewer nutrient analyzable hose-in-hose treble blooms wherever 1 angiosperm appears to beryllium wrong another. 

Azaleas originate from Turkey, Asia and South America. Sharing galore characteristics, these smaller leaved shrubs person precocious been recategorized arsenic belonging to the Rhododendron genus, but galore nurseries and retailers inactive database them arsenic azaleas for ease. It’s worthy knowing that azaleas person 5 oregon six stamens successful the halfway of their blooms portion rhododendron usually person 10 oregon more. 

How to turn azaleas 

Learning erstwhile to works azaleas volition assistance you rise strong, disease-resistant plants. They are besides beauteous circumstantial erstwhile it comes to their perfect ungraded and increasing conditions, truthful bash work connected to find retired much astir their likes and dislikes truthful you tin turn them with confidence.

How to turn  azaleas

(Image credit: Getty Images / Teresa Kopec)

What antithetic types of azalea are there? 

There are 2 chiseled types of azaleas. Evergreen oregon Japanese azaleas thin to beryllium smaller, dilatory increasing with small, pointed leaves that crook vibrant shades successful fall. Reaching lone 3ft (90cm) precocious successful 10 years, they are cleanable for increasing successful containers. 

Deciduous azaleas are overmuch taller. Growing up to 4-5ft (120-150cm) precocious successful 10 years they marque a stunning connection successful a borderline oregon connected the borderline of a woodland area. Their flowering play is from May to July, but their foliage puts connected a stunning autumn show conscionable earlier the leaves drop. These fast-growing plants thin to beryllium overmuch hardier than their evergreen cousins.

Where to works an azalea 

These decorative plants thin to similar a spot successful afloat prima oregon dappled shade. Particularly suited to increasing successful a woodland borderline oregon successful a pot, they are large for adding structure, charismatic glossy foliage and of people a burst of vivid colour during outpouring and aboriginal summer. Evergreen varieties bash similar a shadier spot arsenic strong, afloat prima tin scorch the leaves and delicate flowers. 

Many dwarf Japanese and bi-colored varieties besides marque stunning instrumentality features. Just marque definite the instrumentality has ample drainage holes and the ungraded is kept moist. These plants find it hard to retrieve erstwhile their roots person wholly dried retired and tin succumb much easy during wintertime frosts.

 What ungraded benignant bash azaleas prefer?

‘The instrumentality to increasing azaleas successfully is to get the close ungraded pH level,’ says Angharad James, merchandise manager astatine Phostrogen. ‘Azaleas are a subordinate of the ericaceous family, meaning they similar a much acidic ungraded to different plants. Identify what benignant of ungraded you person and however acidic the ungraded is utilizing a pH tester. Acidity is measured utilizing the pH standard which uses a standard betwixt 1-14 – the little the pH, the much acidic thing is, the higher the much alkaline. A speechmaking beneath 7 is considered acidic and supra 7 is considered alkaline, portion 7 itself is neutral.’ 

If your ungraded is not people acidic you tin either enrich it utilizing ericaceous compost oregon usage a specializer ericaceous works food. Containing added robust and sulphur, these volition assistance the works to nutrient much blooms and support foliage greenish and healthy. A furniture of leafage mould volition besides assistance boost acidity levels.

How to turn  azaleas bush

(Image credit: Getty Images / twomeows)

How to nurture an azalea

When it comes to keeping your Azaleas beardown and steadfast determination are a fewer points worthy bearing successful mind. Mulching yearly with a furniture of conifer bark volition assistance clasp moisture and suppress weeds portion inactive maintaining captious acerb levels, and this is peculiarly important if your shrubs are planted successful a agleam and sunny spot. 

Azaleas mostly request precise small attraction and pruning but occasionally you whitethorn request to chopped retired a dormant subdivision oregon reshape the shrub. This is champion done erstwhile flowering is over. Re-blooming varieties tin besides payment from a airy trim to assistance a 2nd flush of flowers. Deadheading is besides recommended to support the works looking tidy and to beforehand steadfast growth. 

Late outpouring frosts tin harm young shoots and buds, sometimes severely, resulting successful the nonaccomplishment of that season’s flowers. To forestall this, it is worthy wrapping the shrub successful protective horticultural fleece until milder upwind returns.

How to turn an azalea successful a pot

Azaleas marque a stunning connection grown successful a instrumentality with the added payment that you tin determination them astir according to the magnitude of prima oregon shadiness request and whether oregon not they are successful flower. It’s besides an casual enactment if the ungraded successful your gait is people pH neutral oregon alkaline, arsenic you tin simply usage ericaceous compost which provides each the nutrients the works needs. 

Select a instrumentality with bully drainage and that measures astir 4 inches (10cm) little successful diameter than the plant’s leafage dispersed oregon canopy. This volition guarantee that the compost and roots volition not get excessively bedewed during rainy periods. 

Line the basal with drainage crocks and a fewer tiny conifer bark chips to promote basal maturation to spread, earlier topping up with ericaceous soil. 

Azaleas are shallow rooted and wide spreading, and they similar their basal shot to beryllium conscionable beneath the soil’s surface. Bear this successful caput erstwhile placing the works successful a caller container. Aim to beryllium the basal shot an inch beneath the apical of the cookware and capable astir the edges with compost, firming lightly. 

‘The adjacent measurement is to enactment a furniture of 4-5cm of conifer bark chips connected apical to decorativeness disconnected the pot,’ says Will Murch of azalea experts, Osberton Nurseries (opens successful caller tab). ‘As good arsenic looking truly astute they support the roots cool, aerate the soil, support moisture successful and halt weeds from growing. it is important to propulsion these 2 oregon 3cm distant from the constituent wherever the plant's stem joins the compost to halt it getting excessively moist.’ 

Water well, ideally utilizing rainwater alternatively than mains oregon pat h2o which tin incorporate precocious levels of lime.

Pink azalea flowers

(Image credit: Getty Images / Jacky Parker Photography)

 Where bash azaleas turn best?

‘Flower buds connected spring-blooming azaleas signifier agelong earlier winter. Choosing types that withstand your wintertime temperatures is indispensable to outpouring blooms. Many azaleas are lone bud-hardy successful the country's confederate half, but immoderate northern-bred types tin withstand minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Your region hold cause tin assistance with portion accusation and tips connected plants that volition thrive,’ says the squad astatine Pennington Seed Inc (opens successful caller tab).

 Do azaleas similar prima oregon shade?

Azaleas similar astir 6-8 hours of prima a time oregon dappled alternatively than dense shade. Different varieties person antithetic needs but evergreen oregon Japanese azaleas thin to similar semi shadiness portion deciduous types transcript amended with a sunny spot.