Did you know it’s significant to learn how far apart to plant azaleas so that they don’t outgrow their surroundings?
Azaleas are easy-growing flowering shrubs that produce massive blooms.
Most gardeners love to grow them, but they don’t know how to space them properly.
During spring, no other flowering shrub comes close to the spectacular beauty of azaleas. These plants cover themselves with beautiful clusters of flowers that have a host of colors.
These flowers bloom in the spring, but some varieties re-bloom in the summer and again in the fall. To enjoy their floral display in a different season, you can plant an assortment of different cultivars and species.
Facts About Azaleas
- Azaleas belong to the Rhododendron genus, and they are members of the heath family (Ericaceae).
- They fall into two classes – Deciduous and evergreen.
- Most evergreen varieties are native to Japan with a few species from China, Taiwan, and Korea.
- The evergreen grown in home gardens are typically hybrids developed with an improvement in disease resistance, heat or cold tolerance, and flowering time.
- The deciduous species are native to Eastern Asia, North America, and Eastern Europe.
- Azaleas are grouped according to their bloom time – early, mid or late.
- The early bloomers flower late winter through early spring. Midseason type flowers in late spring and late bloomers flower from early summer through fall.
- Azaleas thrive in zones 5 to 9, while some cultivars are suitable for chilly zones 3 and 4.
How Far Apart To Plant Azaleas?
These plants do best when spaced at least 2 to 5 feet apart depending on their mature size. They can grow to different heights and width as follows:
- Plants under 3 feet tall – space the plants at least 2 feet apart
- Plants that can grow up to 3 to 5 feet tall – Leave at least 2 to 3 feet between each plant
- 8 to 10 feet tall plants – Give them at least 4 t 6 feet of spacing
Now that you know how far apart to plant Azaleas prepare your site before planting. Do a site analysis for the space you require before planting.
Measure the space available in your garden to determine whether it can fit the number of Azalea plants or shrubs. Also, consider if the variety you choose is low-lying or medium-sized, or larger varieties. You must factor in all these details when deciding to plant these flowers.
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Growing Azaleas From Stem Cuttings
You can grow azaleas from seed. But because most of them are hybrids they rarely produce after the parent plant.
The only way to ensure you get a parent plant is to propagate via stem cuttings or stem layering. Evergreens are the easiest to grow from cuttings, and deciduous varieties give the best results when layered.
The Step By Step Cutting Preparation Before You Plant Azaleas
- In spring, right after flowering, cut five to six inches in length from the stem tips. The best stems are of a one-year-old that is semi-flexible. They should bend without snapping.
- Remove the leaves from the lower half and trim the ends below the leaf node.
- Lightly scrape off the bark 2 inches above the cut end with a sharp knife – enough to remove the outer bark.
- Dip the cut end into powdered rooting hormone and shake it to remove the excess
- Insert 1/3 of the lower part of the stem into a small container and filled it with a moist rooting medium. Use a 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 sand.
- Set the containers in a sheltered area in your garden where there is bright indirect light.
- To keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, water regularly.
- Expect the roots to form in 4 to 8 weeks.
- Transfer new plants to larger pots to ensure their roots have enough space to develop. Their roots are pretty large and need enough room to grow.
- Keep the plants sheltered in a spot under trees for transplanting to the garden in the following spring.
- Provide straw mulch or cloche to protect against frost when needed.
Planting azaleas too close to each other reduces airflow for the plants. Lack of enough air moving through the branches slows down the time it takes for the plant for moisture to dry on the branches and leaves.
The longer it takes, the more moisture it holds and increases the risk of fungal disease that kills or damages the plant. Azaleas do well in rich, acidic soil with proper drainage and mulch.
They prefer morning sun and bright partial afternoon light. Space these flowers properly and attend to their needs, and your azaleas will continue to thrive in many seasons.
Remember you can also plant different varieties in various seasons to get blooms almost all year round.