Azaleas are flowering shrubs making up part of the genus Rhododendron. It is Important that you choose an appropriate planting location (Azalea are shallow rooted)and pay close attention to reading the plant label to see what the mature height of your Azalea will eventually be. You don't want to plant a shrub that looks cute (small) in the nursery only to find in 5 years you have a HUGE problem with where you planted the shrub. You can find many Azalea shrubs that will grow very slowly (dwarf) and you will have to do little pruning to keep the plant within bounds. Most of us find plants we love and realize years down the road this particular plant has a huge variation in heights at maturity. If you want to use your shrub as a privacy screen choose one that gets very tall at maturity. If you want one near your foundation choose a dwarf variety.
One of the most important parts of planning a garden is choosing the right plant for the location.
Azaleas prefer a cool, partially shaded site unless you choose one of the newer Encore Azalea that bloom twice each year---once in the spring and then again in the fall. Colors include white, pink, coral, orange and ruby red.
The 'Gumpo' azalea from the Satsuki hybrid group is recommended for planting beneath a window and occasionally is recommended for taller windowsills, "Hershey Red" and Coral Bells from the Karume hybrid group are often used azalea shrubs, since they only grow to approximately four feet tall and four feet wide.
Insects that can affect azaleas include lace bugs and spider mites.
If you experience a dry fall, water heavily after a good frost, before cold weather sets in. Do your pruning after the plant blooms but dead wood can be removed when needed. To avoid encouraging new growth which may be killed in the winter, do any fertilizing in late winter or early spring; never after July 1.
Layering is one of the easiest ways to produce new plants. Branches naturally grow low to the ground and you simply dig a trench and place a branch in the trench and cover with mulch to form roots for a new plant.
Evergreen Azalea are easy to do cuttings from, make cuttings from the short shoots that come from the ends of existing wood,clean away any leaves at the bottom of the stem and then scrape the end of the stem with a knife or fingernail. Dip the end you have scraped in a root hormone and plant directly into your soil. When doing stem cuttings you can use a tray or peat pot to hold your cuttings.