Watering Azaleas

Azaleas are a fantastic addition to many gardens. They are available in both deciduous and evergreen varieties with a wide array of blossom colors. Azaleas have a shallow root system which makes them susceptible to water stress. They need moist, but not waterlogged soil to survive and grow.


How To Tell If Azalea Need Watering

Azaleas need about an inch of water a week during the growing season. Use your fingers to check the soil moisture level just below the surface around your plant. If it’s dry, water slowly to allow the soil a chance to absorb the water. 

Some foliage droop is normal in dry weather on hot afternoons in full sun locations. Wilted leaves that curl inward and droop in the early morning may be a sign that your azalea needs watering. Do not over-water because soggy soil promotes root diseases.

How Often to Water Azalea

Water newly planted azaleas every 2 or 3 days unless it rains for at least a month. Their shallow roots need moisture to become established. 

Once the roots have become established, water once a week unless there is an inch of rainfall. Check the soil moisture level during heat waves and water if the soil is dry. In general, azaleas located in sunny areas will need to be watered more frequently than those planted in shady spots.


Check azaleas grown in containers every day or two to see if they need watering. This is especially important if your azalea is planted in an unglazed container. If you place your potted azalea in a sunny location, you may have to water every rain-free day during the summer months. unless it rai

Best Time to Water Azalea

The best time to water azalea is in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry before evening. Water the soil and not the leaves to discourage fungal diseases. Use drip irrigation if possible. 

Azaleas do not need watering during the winter months. Begin watering container-grown azaleas in early spring.


How to Water Azalea

Step 1 - Check the top inch or two of soil.

Insert one of your fingers into the soil to a depth of one or two inches. If the soil feels moist, there is no need to water.

Step 2 - Add water around the base of the plant.

Use a hose sprayer or watering can to moisten the soil around the plant. Water enough to wet the soil a few inches below the surface.

Step 3 - In a few days, check the soil moisture level.

Water again if the soil has dried out. 

Azalea Watering Tips

  • Check the moisture level more frequently for newly planted shrubs.
  • Do not let the top few inches of soil completely dry out.
  • Water the soil and not the leaves, if possible.
  • Check the moisture level of container-grown azaleas daily during periods of hot, dry weather.
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 Author Maureen Farmer - Published 10-11-2021