Spring and autumn flowering Azaleas are a must in any garden because of their abundance of flowers! Very few shrubs flower so profusely that one can hardly see the leaves. In modern gardens they are extremely versatile and suit any style of garden. Azaleas can be clipped to form shade hedges or balls and as lollipops they add instant height in small spaces.
Rhododendron which are known more popularly as the Evergreen Azaleas can add a touch of nostalgia in the garden too. In more romantic gardens they add a graceful texture as foreground shrubs and are quite spectacular if planted on mass.
Plants should preferably not be in full sun. The best position is morning sun afternoon shade or dappled all day. Deep shade is not recommended as it stretches the leaves and result in few flowers. Plant in a generous hole and include a handful of Bone Meal and compost. Azaleas prefer a slightly acid soil which is achieved by planting with Acid Compost and again applying the acid compost as mulch will help you grow the best azaleas.
In summer watering is an important thing to do. If mulched well, the soil will be moist and relatively cool, but regular watering is still required and they should not be allowed to dry out when in bud or flower. Azaleas planted near trees need extra water as they have a shallow root system.
Especially in the growing season once flowering has finished the plants need to be fertilised. Feed once a month with Colourburst Azalea food, a water soluble food that helps to maintain the acid levels best for optimum growth. Regular applications of Iron or Trelmix will keep the leaves from turning a veined yellow which is a sign of an iron shortage in the soil.
Mulching is the best thing for a good growth and fine flowers! It keeps the soil cool in summer, it keeps the soil moist so you don't have to water as frequently and it stimulates earthworms and microorganisms to do their work and decompose the mulch material to give the nutrients out of it. The best thing to use as mulch on azaleas is Acid Compost which also helps to keep the soil acidity higher and you can also use decorative Bark Chips as an alternative.