Re-Blooming Azaleas (those that bloom 3-4 times per year) are one of the most versatile flowering shrubs available. But, maybe yours aren’t doing as well as you hoped they would.
Here’s 5 reasons why they may not be blooming and how to fix that (info provided by Encore Azaleas)
1. They need 6 hours of light per day –
morning sun is better than afternoon, and bright dappled light is OK. Without enough light they will be thin and lanky and will not bloom much. Either transplant them to a sunnier spot (at the appropriate time of the year) or prune trees to allow more sunlight through.
2. Bad weather –
an early season freeze prior to the plant hardening off through fall can damage buds and keep them from blooming. A late freeze in spring can have the same affect on blooms. Unfortunately, there isn’t a remedy for Mother Nature.
3. Pruning improperly –
If you prune at the wrong time and remove buds you will have no blooms. The best time to prune is immediately after blooming in the spring.
4. Lack of Water –
Once established they need 1” of water per week in mild climates and more than that here during our summer heat festival. Mulch 2-3” deep to help cool off the roots and retain moisture in the soil around your shrubs.
5. Using the wrong fertilizer –
Use a fertilizer specifically for azaleas and acid loving plants. Don’t use a lawn fertilizer since it has too much nitrogen (1st number listed) and this will cause the plant to grow leaves instead of flowers.
I am going to add 2 more tips to the list:
6. Don’t plant too deeply –
dig your hole only as deep as the size of the root ball. You don’t want the plant to settle and be in a bowl that will hold water. Some suggest leaving an inch or so of the rootball above ground level and then cover with mulch.
7. Plant in well-drained soil –
azaleas do not want to be in soil that does not drain well. They prefer soil that will dry out between watering. Too much water will make the plant weak, and eventually branches and sections will begin to die. Yellowing leaves is a sign that your plant is getting too much water.