Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!
Find Your Local Florist:
Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

Ask the Plant Expert: Where Should I Plant My Azaleas?

Dear Plant Expert:

I live in central Missouri. I never have any luck with Azaleas. so where is the best place to plant them? I just bought 3 new plants and need to know where is the best place to plant them.



Plant Expert Reply:


In your area, azaleas will be tricky. You will first need to make sure that the azaleas you choose can tolerate a hardness zone of 5. You’ll want to check with your local nursery and garden center, since they will only carry azaleas hardy enough for your area. Large box stores may not pay attention to the special needs your area requires.

Once you have an azalea that is hardy in your zone, planting it correctly is crucial.

Plant your azaleas in an area that drains well, is protected from extreme weather conditions and receives a minimum of 5 hours of sun a day. Depending on your soil type, you may need to add humus to the soil when you plant it. Be sure to blend/incorporate the humus into your existing soil. Since azaleas like a more acidic soil, you may also need to add a little aluminum sulfate to the soil at planting time.

I also recommend fertilizing the azaleas from April through August. I use a fertilizer with a systemic insecticide. Your local garden center should carry this product.

I hope this information is helpful! Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Jamie Jamison Adams

Help! What Is Causing My Azalea To Turn Yellow?

Ask The Plant Expert:

Help! My azalea blooms look rusty with a little white and pink mixed in, it. The leaves also look yellow. I really can’t tell you what kind they are, but they grow low to the ground not the tall bushy kind. – Marilyn

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


I assume you are wanting to know what is causing the yellowing in your azaleas.  It could be one of many things: water issue, insect issue or iron deficiency.

  • Azalea Insect Problems

Azaleas are susceptible to an insect called Lacebug. This winged insect basically suck the chlorophyll from the plant giving the leaves a lace white appearance.  If this is the case you will need to spray them with an insecticide. Your local nursery or garden center should have what you need.

  • Azalea Iron Deficiency

Hot Pink AzaleaAzaleas sometime develop an iron deficiency.  In this case, the younger leaves will turn yellow with green veins. If this is the case, you will need to apply an iron treatment to the azaleas.  Your local garden center or nursery will have iron that you can apply to your soil.  Be sure to apply the proper rate for azaleas.  You might also check the pH of the soil and make sure that it is acidic enough for azaleas.

  • Improper Watering

The one issue that most azaleas will have at some point is a water issue — either too much or too little.  Although azaleas like a moist soil, but do not like to have soggy roots. Root rot can occur if the azalea is to wet and thus the leaves will turn yellow and drop off.  However, keeping an azalea too dry will cause the leaves to first turn yellow then brown.  Check you soil moisture level and correct the situation.  Do not over compensate – instead make sure the soil is the proper moisture level — no more no less.  In a few weeks the plant should make a full recovery.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with any thing else.

Where To Plant Azaleas – Sun or Shade?

Ask the Plant Expert: Where can you plant azaleas?

Do azaleas need full sun when planted outdoors? John

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


According to the Azalea Society of America, azaleas should be planted in partial shade. In fact, most people claim that azaleas do best with morning sun and afternoon shade. However, it really depends on the type of azalea and where you live. Most azaleas will take sun to partial shade exposure.

Deciduous Azalea 'Admiral Semmes"For example, I have an azalea called Sunglow that gets hot afternoon sun. These azaleas bloom beautifully every year and their dark rich foliage is always attractive. The deciduous azalea (Admiral Semmes) that I have in my perennial garden gets sun all day long and does very well. My neighbors have ‘Herbert’ Azaleas in a morning sun only exposure and they do fine.

The garden center where you purchased the azalea should know which exposure it will do best in your area.

The greater concern would be the soil type that you are planting the azalea in. Be sure to plant it in loose, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH.

Hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Help! Why Do My Azalea Blooms Always Buckle After Rain?

Ask The Plant Expert: Our azalea blooms appear to collapse after any sort of rain – yet other azalea plants,  (similar to ours) in the neighborhood, do not seem to have this problem.  Could you please explain why this could be so?  We have plenty of blooms, but they don’t last in the rain. – Charlie

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Charlie,

Send A Azalea HouseplantYou might have a different type of azalea than your neighbors. Depending on the species of azalea, the blooms might be more delicate and thus not as sturdy during a rain.

  • If you have the same species of azaleas as your neighbors, exposure is the culprit. Your azaleas may get more of the blunt force of the elements, especially the rain.  This will cause the blooms the collapse.
  • Another factor can be the amount of blooms that your plant has. An abundance of blooms will cause the plant to catch more water. The weight of this extra water will cause the blooms to collapse.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Will My Azaleas Bloom Again This Season?

Send A Azalea Houseplant Ask the Expert: Do azaleas flower more than once in a season? I have an Azaelea that flowered profusely in April, now flowers have died, but new green leaves are growing, but will this plant flower again this season?

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Diane,

There is a variety of Azaleas that blooms more than once; it is called the Encore series. If you have this type of azalea it can bloom again in the summer and in the fall. If you do not have this type of azalea it will not bloom again, and you need to prune them before July. If you prune them after July you may not have good blooming next spring.

Hope this helps.

Can I Grow My Azaleas Outdoor in Texas?

Potted AzaleaAsk The Expert: Azalea  plants, are they ok to plant in Texas?  The weather is so warm in summer and cold in winter. – Gloria

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Gloria,
Most azaleas are hardy in zones 7 -9, so they should fine in Texas. If hot temperatures are present try planting them in a filtered sunlight area with bright light and mulch. Dense shade is not good for them.

As for the cold, make sure they are mulched properly before going into winter. For more information about azaleas in your local area drop by your local nursery garden center. The professional nurserymen at your local garden center will know what azalea varieties grow best in your area.

Hope this information helps.

Visit our Houseplant Care & Information section for more houseplant tips!

When Do I Plant My New Azaleas?

Azalea Potted PlantAsk The Expert: I bought 3 hardy, Japanese azaleas. Leaves are dropping and is it o.k. to put outside yet? Do I plant in garden or in pots? How general should I care for them? I got them from a website called gardening direct. They are in 17cm pots. The leaves that are on the plants look very healthy but there were a lot of dead leaves in the packaging. I live in SE London.

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

I looked up London’s hardiness zone which is 9 and compared it to the hardiness of the azalea plants, which is zone 5 -9. So, the plant will do well in your area. However, this isn’t really the time of year to plant azaleas. Without knowing where the plants came from and what temperatures they were kept at, I wouldn’t place them directly outside. I would probably grow them in a garage or winter building until late April or May when the temperature are a bit warmer and more stable.  Or you could slowly acclimate the azalea to the cold temperature. Either way keep the azaleas exposed to moderate light and moist but not soggy soil.

Hope this helps!

You might also like:
Winterizing, Pruning and Fertilizing Your Azaleas
Caring For Indoor Azaleas
Did I Prune My Azaleas Correctly?

This post is brought to you by local Auburn AL florists.
Not in Alabama? No worries, Flower Shop Network connects you to a real local florist near you!

Winterizing, Pruning and Fertilizing Your Azaleas

Ask the Expert: what should i be doing to my azaleas now (NOvember)
Potted AzaleaMy azaleas have not been doing as well as I like. When do we fertilize them and what pointers will help me to care for them? My Azaleas are planted outside. They are about 2 1/2 feet high and look healthy but I have not been getting flowers in March as in the past. I live in South Carolina. When is the time when they should be fertilized and when does one do it? Also, when do you trim the bushes? Thank you so much. Frances

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:
Don’t be alarmed at the lack of blooming this past year. Occasionally azaleas will be thrown off by inconsistency in the season – too cold, too wet, too dry too hot. However, if the problem persists for more than one year an issue may exist that needs to be corrected.

To determine what the problem is, we must first evaluate all the factors that contribute to blooming.

First is light exposure. Has the amount of light the azaleas are exposed to throughout the year changed. When azaleas do not get enough light during the growing season blooming can become inhibited. A solution for this is to give the azaleas more light by pruning the trees or shrubs that are shading them. At the same time, too much light at mid-day can cause scorching. However, this won’t keep blooms from forming.

Second factor is fertilization. Azaleas can be heavy feeders needing fertilizer monthly during the growing season. I usually recommend fertilizing your azaleas April through August. I like to use a granular slow release fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide. Your local garden center and nursery should have the fertilizer you need. You might ask them what they recommend in your area as a fertilizer and the time period in which to fertilize them. You do not want to fertilize your azaleas during the dormancy period.

Third factor is pruning. The rule of thumb is to prune your azaleas immediately after they finish blooming or at least within that month. If you prune your azaleas at the wrong time, you might cut the future blooms off. Azaleas set their blooms many months in advance of when they actually bloom. You can prune your azalea severely or lightly depending on how much height and shape you need.

Another factor is proper care during the winter. In the fall, you need to mulch around your azaleas. You can use a multitude of different materials to do this – pine straw, hardwood mulch, pine mulch, cypress mulch, etc. You can discuss the options with your local garden center and nursery. Depending on the winter, your blooms can be damage if the weather becomes extremely cold. When we have had extreme temperatures in our area, I have actually iced my azaleas. Icing involves wetting the azaleas so that ice forms and the plant stays at 32° F. Before you attempt this talk to your local garden center. they will be able to determine if this is the right course of action for your area.

Hopefully these suggestion will help remedy your azalea issues.

This post is brought to you by local Greenville SC florists.
Not in Greenville? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s directory of local florists to find a florist near you!

Caring For Indoor Azaleas

Ask the Expert: How to care for new azalea over winter?
My azalea was from a floral shop (a gift)When is stopped blooming in the house I planted it outside. It remains a beautiful green leafy plant. Being in northern Illinois I don’t expect it to live over the winter so I brought it inside. How should I care for it so I can put it outside and bloom again in the spring?

Flower Shop Network
Plant Expert reply:
If you want to care for your azalea as a houseplant during the winter, but use it as an outdoor plant in the summer, you need to pot it in a container that can work both inside and outside.

Pink Azalea in Basket For IndoorsThe container will need ample room for the azalea plant to expand as it grows. It will need a nutrient rich acidic soil containing organic matter with the ability to drain well. The soil PH is best at a range of 5.0 to 5.5. Should you need to increase the acidity of the soil you can add a soil amendment before you pot the azalea.

Azalea Care For Indoors

Place the azalea in an area with bright indirect light and an ambient temperature of no more that 68 degrees during the day and no lower than 45 degrees at night. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Depending on your heating and cooling system, you may need to create a more humid environment by misting the plant every so often.

Be sure to remove dead leaves or blooms that fall on the soil. These can cause disease. Fertilize the azalea in late winter and again in early summer with a water soluble fertilizer.

Azalea Care For Outdoors

When you place the pot outside during the warm months, find a spot that is shaded some what from the hot mid-day sun. Direct sun during the early morning and late afternoon will work well for the azalea when it is outside. Keep the plant moist, but make sure the roots are not sitting in water. Once the plant has bloomed, prune it to keep the shape.  Pruning should occur immediately after the final blooms are spent. This will ensure the next seasons blooms are not damaged.

This post is brought to you by local Charleston SC florists.
No where near Charleston? Not a problem, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory of florists to find a local florist near you!

What Is This White Stuff On My Azalea?

Ask the Expert: what would get the white fungus off azaleas , leaf the azalea has white on them , on the leafs is it a fungus , what can spray on them will mild soapy water work. Janet

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

First we need to determine if you really have a fungus. Is the white substance powdery and can you wipe it off. If so, you have a fungus called powdery mildew. Soapy water doesn’t work on fungus. You will need a fungicide. Your local garden center will have a general purpose fungicide that will work for well on powdery mildew.

If the white on the leaves is more of a lacy pattern on the leaf that can not be wiped away, your azalea has been attacked by an insect called lace bug. Soapy water doesn’t usually control this type of sucking insect. However, if a more organic approach is what you want – try it. If it doesn’t work, you will need an insecticide.

You have two choices when it comes to insecticide control for lace bug – topical or systemic. The topical insecticides work more quickly, but won’t protect as long. Systemic insecticides are slow acting, but longer lasting. Your local garden center will carry both of these products.

Keep in mind, the damage caused by the insects will not change. The plant will produce new leaves and they will eventually cover the damaged ones. So, it is important to keep the lace bugs from attacking these new leaves.

If you would like to read more about the lace bug on Azaleas, the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service has a great article: Azalea & Rhododendron Insect Pests

Charleston florists are proud sponsors of the Flower Shop Network blog.