When Do Azaleas Bloom? (Not the month you think)

azaleas

When Do Azaleas Bloom? Azalea flowers range in color from white to purple and can bloom any time of year, especially early February to September.

They are grouped into categories based on when they flower: early, mid, and late season.

Plant breeders and gardeners group azaleas into three types according to the months they bloom; early (March-April), midseason (April-May), and late (June). 

The type of azalea you choose is a function of where it will be planted, but also your preference for the color of flowers.

All may not bloom at the same time, however; while some varieties may be classified as early flowering, they may continue blooming through May or June.

The majority of deciduous azaleas grown in the U.S. are of the late-flowering types, with peak bloom occurring in June and early July.

Azaleas work well at their scale as solitary specimens or grouped as a collection. Azaleas can even be grown as a hedge with a staggered planting time frame, allowing each azalea to flower at its own time during the growing season.

Early flowering: mid-March to mid-April Midseason: mid-April to May Late: mid-May through June  

Are There Azaleas That Bloom All Year?

Some azaleas bloom all year. An example of one is the ever-blooming, or re-blooming, azalea. This particular species blooms for several months in a row and does not require deadheading to retain its color. 

The blooming period varies according to climate zone, but it usually starts at the end of winter or the beginning of spring and then continues throughout summer into fall.

Re-blooming azaleas are also called remontant hybrids because they flower repeatedly on new wood. They are generally propagated by cuttings since their growth patterns are so predictable. Most varieties thrive in areas with humid summers and cool winters where there is no hard frost. 

Examples include “The Garland” which produces white to pink blooms from April through May and “Waterfall” which provides a cascade of pink petals from June to August.

People value re-blooming azaleas for their low maintenance, year-round flowering properties, but they also have attractive foliage that’s not hardy in all climates. The plants grow well in USDA zones 4 through 9 along with parts of zone 3 where winters are mild. 

You can easily grow them inside greenhouses or on patios during the winter if your area experiences snowfall.

FamiliaEricaceae
GéneroRhododendron; L
ClaseMagnoliopsida
ReinoPlantae

How Do You Get Azaleas To Bloom?

Azaleas can be one of the most rewarding plants to grow with their beautiful flowers and evergreen leaves. However, azaleas are difficult to grow and will not bloom reliably without care. 

There are several things you can do to encourage your blooming azalea bushes to grow with thicker foliage and more flowers so you can enjoy their beauty for many years.

Add Soil Amendments

Azaleas like good, rich soil high in organic content that retains moisture but also drains easily (the root rot is real). 

Work 3-4 inches of compost into your flower bed before planting and yearly thereafter during fall planting season. This will give your azaleas an adequate amount of organic material for healthy growth.

Give Them Plenty of Sunlight

Azaleas love sunlight, so make sure you are giving them 6-8 hours daily. This will encourage blooming all through the growing season. 

Azaleas cannot bloom without enough sunlight. If you’re live in a particularly sunny area, try to plant them in an area where they can get full sun throughout the day so that they can get as much exposure as possible. 

It is also helpful to install a birdbath or small fountain near your plants to bring hummingbirds and butterflies which will feed on your flowers and spread their pollen by landing on different bushes to pollinate more areas of the garden.

Remove Weeds

Weeds compete for root space with azaleas and block sunlight.

Make sure you are removing any weeds that may pop up in your flower bed to give your azaleas the space they need to grow thick, green foliage and robust blooms. 

Also, keep mulch away from the base of the trunks so the roots don’t get too warm.

Fertilize Your Azaleas

Azaleas require a fertilizer high in nitrogen to help them produce thick foliage and more flowers.

There are many great organic fertilizers on the market or if you prefer artificial chemicals you can try Miracle-Gro, which is specifically formulated for flowering plants like azaleas. 

Regardless of what type of fertilizer you use, make sure it has a higher amount of nitrogen than phosphorous and potassium (the first number listed on the side of the label).

Control Pests and Diseases

To have a healthy azalea, it needs to be grown in optimal conditions. Control pests and diseases by removing weeds as they appear so that they don’t compete with your plants for nutrients and water among other things. 

Also check your plants regularly for unwanted visitors like leaf miners, spider mites, aphids, beetles, and caterpillars which can devastate an azalea garden fast.

Remove Old Flowers

Azaleas will not produce flowers year-round if you never remove old blooms from the plant. To force more blooming they need to focus their energy on new growth rather than older growth. 

Deadheading your flowers will also give your azaleas a fuller appearance, make them last longer, and keep them healthier.

Stop Stressing Your Azalea

Planting your azaleas in the right conditions is half the battle of getting them to grow with thicker foliage and more blooms. However, it is equally important that you stop stressing your plant unnecessarily like by over or under-watering. 

Give them the amount of water they need to thrive (which typically isn’t much), but not too much where there are lots of standing puddles around their base which can lead to root rot. 

Also, ensure that they don’t get too dry during the summer months so they don’t lose all their leaves.

Remove Damaged Leaves/Branches

If your azaleas are damaged in any way, you need to remove the leaves or branches that are decaying. This will help prevent fungus or mold from forming around your plant that can spread disease throughout your garden quickly. 

It is also a good idea to replant them away from other plants so they don’t get reinfected by insects like ants, bees, and wasps which might invade their sweet nectar.

Prune During Fall

After the blooming season in spring has ended, it is best to prune your azaleas during fall when they are dormant.

This will give them time to grow new roots before winter sets in which will allow for thicker foliage next year when they begin to bloom again. 

Also, this gives the plant a fresh look and stimulates them to get ready for the new growing season.

Repot Your Azaleas Once Every Three Years

It is good to repot your azaleas every three years or so if you notice their roots becoming too tight in their containers or if they start slowing down on how much and often they are blooming.

Repotting will allow air to move through the soil which can stimulate blossoms and health growth.

 If something does go wrong with your plants, at least you know that it is probably not due to one of these top ten tips that you’ve been following since you first bought your plants.

Possible Reasons Why Your Azaleas Are Not Blooming

Many gardeners want to grow azaleas in their yard, but those who have tried sometimes find that their plants simply will not flower. There are several possible reasons for this lack of blooms, all of them related to the plant’s cultural needs. 

By understanding the factors that affect azalea flowers, you can give your plants a better chance at success.

Lack of Full Sunlight

Azalea plants generally prefer full sun exposure, with six hours per day being optimal.

Put them in a location where they will get plenty of sunlight and they should start producing flowers within one or two years. Make sure the soil is also well-drained for best results.

Too Much Water

These plants need good drainage as well as lots of sunlight. If they sit in a low area that’s constantly wet, the soil might drown the roots and prevent them from blooming.

Either give your azaleas a better location or plant them in raised beds to help with drainage.

Too Little Water

On the other hand, if you don’t water your plants regularly or keep the soil dry, you will likely be rewarded with fewer flowers as well.

Azaleas need moist but not soggy conditions to thrive. 

A good soaking once a week is usually sufficient; check each specific variety for additional watering needs.

Not Enough Fertilizer

Azalea plants typically do best with regular applications of fertilizer throughout the growing season (summertime is best).

Look for a fertilizer that contains the three numbers beside nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) on the label. 

A 10-10-10 or 15-15-15 formula is generally ideal for these plants, which need plenty of each number to produce good blooms.

Improper Pruning

Azaleas are typically pruned in early spring, just as they are beginning to grow again. This keeps them from growing too tall and also encourages bushy growth that will produce more flowers. 

You might also consider pruning away some of the oldest branches annually to encourage new growth and thus more flowers.

Conclusion

Azaleas bloom almost year-round, but there are some factors that increase the chance for blooms.

Azalea season is during late winter and early spring when evergreen trees start to lose their leaves. 

They are also more likely to be flowering around Easter because many people decorate churches with them during this holiday.

Most varieties are usually done blooming by June or July depending on what part of the country you live in.