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Time to Plant: Discover the benefits of planting Encore Azaleas in the Fall

Written by: PBM Team



Time to read 2 min

Plant Encore Azaleas in the fall to enjoy flowers until the first frost and allow time for roots to establish without damage from extreme temperatures. With the summer heat winding down and cooler temperatures on the way, fall is the optimal season to plant Encore Azaleas.

What are the benefits of planting Encore Azaleas in the fall?

Fall Planting = Spring Growth

Planting azaleas in the fall gives them a head start on root growth. The roots continue to grow until the ground freezes, allowing the plant to establish itself before the spring growing season. This strong root system supports healthier, more vibrant blooms in spring.

Reduction in Competition for Resources

In fall, there's less competition for water and nutrients, as many plants are entering dormancy. This allows azaleas to access more of the resources they need to establish a robust root system.

Factors To Consider When Planting Encore Azaleas

Sun Exposure

When planting your Encore® Azaleas, choose an area that provides high filtered shade or a sunny location with some afternoon shade.

Encore® Azaleas require 4-6 hours of sun to produce their famous, multi-season flowers. However, especially during the summer, they need some afternoon shade to maintain balance and vibrant colors.


The soil should be acidic to promote healthy growth and well-drained to avoid root rot. Add nutrients to the soil with organic matter, but not fertilizer (fertilize in spring). To accommodate the root structure, dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and shallow enough for the top of the root ball to rest above the soil line. Azaleas have shallow roots, which means they grow wide versus deep. If the hole is too deep, you run the risk of root rot.

Winter Protection for Your Azaleas

If your area experiences particularly harsh winters, especially during the azaleas' first year when they are most vulnerable, additional protection is advisable.

  1. Creating a Protective Barrier: Construct a simple wind barrier using burlap and wooden stakes. Place the stakes around your azalea, leaving ample space for the plant, and wrap the burlap around them. This barrier will shield your azaleas from cold winds and heavy snow.
  2. Avoiding Plastic Covers: Steer clear of using plastic as it can trap moisture and lead to fungal diseases.
  3. Monitoring the Weather: Keep an eye on the weather forecasts. On days with extreme cold, consider adding extra insulation, like straw or additional organic material, around the base of your azaleas.
  4. Springtime Removal: Once the threat of severe frost has passed in the spring, gradually remove the protective materials, allowing your azaleas to acclimate to the changing temperatures.

Spring Has Arrived - Time For Your Hard Work To Pay Off

Nurture your Encore Azaleas into a stunning display of growth and color by timing your care just right. Begin by fertilizing them as soon as the threat of frost passes, setting the stage for a spectacular bloom. These azaleas, renowned for their resilience and beauty, will respond with an explosion of growth and vibrant flowers.

Then, after their initial spring bloom, give them a light pruning. This not only shapes the plant but also encourages more vigorous growth and an increased number of blooms in the following seasons. With these simple steps, your Encore Azaleas will transform your garden into a year-round wonderland of color and vitality.

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