When to Move Azaleas


Azaleas, which belong to the genus Rhododendron, are a broad group of flowering shrubs that bloom in the spring and are cherished for the colourful flowers they produce. The timing of azalea transplantation is critical if you want to prevent the shock that might be caused by the procedure. Hardiness zones 4 through 9 as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture are appropriate for growing azaleas.

Transplanting Azaleas in Winter

It is recommended by the University of Florida IFAS Extension that transplanting deciduous azaleas, which are azaleas that lose their leaves in the autumn, into the garden should take place between the months of November and February, when the plants are dormant and easier to work with. According to the Oregon State University Extension, the beginning of spring is another appropriate time to transplant azaleas. However, it is feasible, with careful attention, to transplant deciduous and evergreen azaleas at other times of the year. Is it possible to relocate azaleas when they are in bloom? It is a possibility; nonetheless, doing so raises the possibility of azalea transplant shock.

When it comes to transplanting azaleas, the late summer or early autumn is often the best time to do so in cooler areas, while the very late summer or early fall is typically the best time to do so in warmer climates. The American Rhododendron Society recommends that, for the best possible outcomes, azalea plants should be transplanted into new soil as soon as possible after being dug up from their previous position. It is important to keep in mind that smaller azalea specimens are simpler to transport than bigger ones, and that azaleas planted in close proximity to trees or other shrubs may be unable to be moved at all.

Transplanting Container Azaleas

According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, it is possible to transplant an azalea that was grown in a container at any time of the year; however, the shrub must get the appropriate care at the time of planting in order for it to become effectively established. In spite of the fact that azaleas may be purchased and planted in the spring, allowing you to immediately enjoy their blossoms, the bushes will need careful watering in order to survive the heat of the summer. By giving the plant more time to grow established before the onset of warmer weather, transplanting azaleas from containers into the garden in the autumn is an excellent strategy.

If the roots of the container azalea have gotten root bound, you will need to carefully loosen them before you can transplant the plant. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the root balls of balled-and-burlapped azalea plants do not need any preparation prior to planting and do not need to be broken up. Because you do not want to plant these shallow-rooted plants too deeply, putting a layer of organic mulch that is several inches thick will help protect the roots and keep weeds from growing in the area.

Caring for Azaleas

It is essential to choose the appropriate planting location for azaleas in addition to selecting the appropriate time to transfer the plants. Before transplanting azaleas, it is a good idea to have the soil tested since these particular species demand acidic soil with a pH ranging from 4.5 to 6.0. For soil that has an excessive amount of alkalinity, it may be necessary to apply amendments.

They have rather shallow root systems, so soil that becomes damp may stunt their development and induce root rot caused by fungi. Because of this, it is very necessary to grow azaleas on soil that drains well, which may require putting them in raised beds in certain circumstances.

If you want your azalea plant to thrive after you transfer it, you should choose a location that is sheltered from the wind and gets a lot of sunshine that has been filtered through the clouds. It is also essential to provide enough space for the plants. For example, if you are transplanting many azaleas into the same garden bed, the spacing between the plants should be an average of the mature widths of all of the plants.