Plant of the Week: Azaleas

Azaleas are a southern garden staple for their elegant blooms and versatility. Evergreen or deciduous, shade or sun loving, large or dwarf; there exists an azalea for any spot in your garden. The two most popular types of azaleas are the traditional and reblooming varieties.

Traditional Azaleas

A favorite of southern gardeners for generations. These evergreens prefer part to full shade and can vary in height from 1’ all the way to 10’ depending on variety. While they only bloom once a year in spring, they bloom profusely in shades of pink, purple or white. Traditional azaleas are also hardier than newer varieties, making them an excellent choice for areas with unpredictable temperatures.

Traditional azaleas do best in well-draining soil with a pH of 4.5 – 6.0.

They enjoy periodic pruning to remove damaged limbs and to maintain overall shape/size, but should be pruned immediately after blooming has finished, before summer.

Fertilize in spring and fall with an acidic fertilizer like HollyTone.

Christi Lyn Azalea
Coral Bells Azalea


When it comes to reblooming azaleas, Encore Azaleas are the most popular. As the name implies, reblooming azaleas bloom more than once per year.

Encore Azaleas – Blooming an astounding 3-4 times per year beginning in spring, Encore Azaleas pack a punch despite their smaller size. These azaleas average 2’-6’ tall at maturity and do best in full sun (at least 6 hours per day).  Encores bloom in various shades and combinations of purple, pink, red and white. Their smaller size makes them great choices for containers.

Encore azaleas prefer moist, well draining soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5.

Prune immediately after the first bloom of the year has ended and before they set bud for their next bloom.

Fertilize in spring and fall with an acidic fertilizer like HollyTone.

Encore Autumn Lilac
Encore Autumn Ruby