Azalea Shrub Care with Photos and Videos
Azaleas in bloom
Show Stopping Azaleas
Azaleas are magnificent flowering shrubs that put on a dazzling show in the springtime in our part of the world which is Houston.
Depending upon the variety of which there are many thousands that have been bred and propagated for literally hundreds of years, azaleas come in various sizes and color variations.
One thing that they have in common is their similarity to rhododendrons although azaleas are smaller and have single blossoms as opposed to clusters.
How to Grow and Care for Azaleas
Azalea Growing Conditions
Azaleas all do prefer acidic soil conditions and most of them like some shade or partial shade during the day.
For many years when we had pine trees growing in our yard, we used the pine needles for mulch around our azaleas which helped to keep the soil on the acidic side.
The photo below was taken at a local restaurant in Houston that was situated along some water. The reflections of the blooming azaleas in the water are so pretty. Don't you agree?
Azalea Plants in Bloom
This photo shows the fashion azaleas that bloom in our garden generally late in the year, and then again in the Spring. Springtime brings about the heaviest blossoming.
Fashion azaleas are a smaller type of azalea than the larger varieties and can easily be trimmed to around two feet or so but can grow up to four feet if untrimmed.
They make a great small hedge and their leaves are smaller than the larger varieties of azaleas and yet their blossoms are just about as large.
You can tell from this photo that when they are in full bloom, one can hardly even see the leaves!
How to Plant Encore Azaleas
There are different azalea types that are evergreen and others that are deciduous which means they lose their leaves at times of the year.
I have personally only seen the evergreen types being grown here in Houston. Azaleas are grown in many parts of the world.
One of my favorites is the Encore azalea which blooms several times throughout the year. It is one of the newer hybrids. We have several of them in our garden and just replaced a bush of another type that died with an Encore Azalea.
When planting azaleas it is best to plant them on a slight mound or at least have their root ball slightly above ground level. Do not cultivate around them once established because they have surface roots.
And in the woods a fragrance rare
Of wild azaleas fills the air,
And richly tangled overhead
We see their blossoms sweet and red.— Dora Read Goodale
Pruning Azaleas Information Here
Pruning and Caring for Azaleas
I fertilize them in the spring after they have finished blooming and this is the time to trim them back or shape them if desired. If done too much later you risk cutting off what will be next year's blossoms.
Houston, Texas is ablaze with color every spring and just like other towns and cities across America, we have our Azalea Trail. Generally this is held the first couple weeks of March.
If ever planning a visit to our fine city, this would be a wonderful time of year to come. The weather is also cooler than our sizzling summertime temperatures.
Hope you enjoyed this look at some of the azaleas in Houston.
If you grow azaleas in your neck of the woods, what type do you prefer growing?