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Azaleas Should They Flee To A Warmer Climate?

Ask the expert: I purchased two small azalea bushes this past Spring and they are doing well.  We live in Zone 8, but travel South for three months during winter (Zone 9 ? ).  Can I put my azaleas in pots and take them with us to a warmer climate where I can care for them?  There is no one to care for them if I leave them home (Zone 8).  Thank you for any assistance you can give me. Gerry


  1. Gerry,

    Most azaleas are hardy in zone 8 and can remain in the ground over the winter. If you have not planted them in the ground I would recommend doing so. The only time they would need to be watered over the winter is if it was extremely dry or cold. You can put them in a pot and take them with you, but they are a shrub and shrubs tend to do better in the ground than in a pot. Keep in mind if you pot them and move them they will go through transplant shock. This will not kill the azalea. It is something to keep in mind and you will need to more careful about watering it during this time (over-watering will cause more damage). Good luck and keep me posted.

  2. Gerry Beaver says:

    Thank you for the information. Because our winters at our home (Zone 8) sometimes get into the teens….would it be beneficial to put some type of compost material, wood chips or something to put around the base of the plants to protect them from the extreme cold?

  3. Gerry,

    Yes. Mulching are the azaleas would be beneficial. I like to use pine much or pine needles around them. Don’t put it too deep or pile it on the azalea.

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