Fertilizing Azaleas

Last Updated 5-4-2022

An azalea is a beautiful addition to any yard or garden. Knowing how to keep it healthy with fertilization is key. Here's how to fertilize your azaleas.

Azaleas are a beloved plant of the South. Though, you wouldn't expect them to have such a deep, Eastern history finding their way from Japan! One may consider fertilizer for azaleas to encourage these dazzling displays of colors. But, you must consider all factors when planting to experience their amazing, Springtime bloom. Here's what to know about their care and the timing to add fertilizer for azaleas.

A Guide To Care And Fertilizer For Azaleas

Azaleas bloom twice each year. They are a popular choice because of their beauty and low-maintenance. Yet, they do need some care to ensure stable growth and vibrant blooms.

Place Azaleas in:

Partially shaded, well-drained areas
Watering 2x weekly at its base
A liberal layer of mulch
Caring for Azaleas requires constant monitoring of ground wetness. The ground needs moisture without water-logging the plant. Check the pH and moisture levels to ensure optimal growth.

If you do decide to use fertilizer for Azaleas consider the following variables.

Best Time To Fertilize Azaleas

Plants can experience nutrient deficiency despite the best green thumb efforts. Azaleas are especially prone to nutrient deficiency because of their shallow root system. The topsoil dries and so does the plant. Nutrients washed from the ground area cause further frustration. Look for the tell-tale signs of off-coloring, dry or soggy soil or problematic growth and blooms.

You may feel inclined to fertilize to combat these problems - don't!

The different varieties of Azaleas will play a factor, so make sure you know which variety of plant you have. Azaleas bloom in late spring and early summer. But, each variety experiences different growth patterns. Check your azalea type to see what growers recommend for optimal growth and blooms.

Also, consider your planting zone as well to determine hardiness and success rate of your plant's growth.

A Good Rule of (Green) Thumb

Only add fertilizer for azaleas during late winter or early spring. If that time doesn't work, aim for when they're in or slightly after bloom. Fertilizing during the off-times is a no-no.

You'll have leafy growth if adding fertilizer too early into their growth cycle. Or, you could cause damage by insulating the soil during the cold winter months.

How to Fertilize Azaleas

Azaleas do not need high levels of nutrients. Often, basic mulching with organic compost or materials will do a good job. Choose fertilizer based on high nitrogen or acid-forming compounds if you're buying retail.

The Best Fertilizer For Azaleas

If you prefer to give your plants an extra boost, and add fertilizer to your azaleas, we recommend getting one that is acidic and designed for Azaleas & rhododendrons specifically. If you do not have any azalea fertilizer available, a well balanced slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer always works. Here are a few fertilizers we recommend using.

Azaleas Blooming in Spring

Azaleas are a Southern favorite because they provide evergreen beauty. They're an easy plant with the right care. Their blooms? Simply stunning. Ready to add color to your home or garden? We have a wide selection of azaleas. Come check out our top-selling Autumn Bonfire or Autumn Sangria! Or, drop us a line because we'd love to have your head in the clouds this spring, too!