Azaleas have lower cultivation requirements compared to rhododendrons because shedding their leaves in winter allows them to withstand colder temperatures more easily. They are less vulnerable to freezing and disease because their leafless stems are less susceptible to freezing or physiological drought.
Azaleas that do not, or only partially shed their leaves in winter belong to the group of Japanese azaleas, which are sensitive to low temperatures and susceptible to frost. It is important to carefully cover these azaleas in winter and select a sheltered and sunny location for them.

Azalea shrubs require a sunny position. When planted in shade, they will bloom poorly and become more susceptible to fungal diseases.
Azaleas need fertile, loamy, moderately moist and permeable soil with an acid reaction (pH 3.5-4.5). Plants produced in containers can be planted throughout the vegetative period in a pit measuring 40 x 60 cm filled with substrate consisting of acidic peat mixed with well-rotted manure, bark or pine needles, and sand. The soil should be watered before planting the shrub.
Azaleas have shallow roots, so the soil around the shrub should be mulched with a thick layer of pine bark.
During the first few months after planting, shrubs should be watered systematically until the plant is well-rooted. Later on, azaleas should be watered only during dry spells, hot summers, or when they are planted in a locations with full sun.


In the first year after planting, we do not fertilize the plants. In the following years, from spring until the end of July, we fertilize the plant with multi-component fertilizers designed for rhododendrons and azaleas. These fertilizers maintain the proper acidity of the soil, preventing chlorosis.

Pests and diseases

Azaleas are attacked by the same pests and fungal diseases as rhododendrons. (Here is an article with a detailed description of diseases.) Symptoms of diseases and plant damage caused by:

  • Otiorhynchus sulcatus,
  • Acleris Latifasciana,
  • Catotilia azaleella,
  • rhododendron aphid.

are the same in both groups of plants as well as the methods of fungal and insect control. Snails are a problem for azaleas, as they damage the plants. A natural preventive measure is to sprinkle the soil around the shrub with diatomaceous earth, creating a natural barrier for snails.

Maintenance procedures include removing flowers after they have withered as well as removing dried and damaged stems and leaves. An important maintenance procedure is also raking the fallen leaves to prevent the accumulation of pathogens and pests.