Fall in Love with Your Garden this Season by Planting Encore® Azaleas!

autumn sunset

The onset of fall does not necessarily mean you have to put away your gardening tools. With careful planning and preparation, you can plant new shrubs and perennials to enjoy a vibrant garden all year round. One shrub variety that deserves a place in your garden is Encore® Azaleas. These evergreen shrubs put on a stunning display of colorful blooms twice a year – in the spring and fall, providing a beautiful backdrop for other plants or adding a pop of color to your garden. In this blog, we will share tips on planting Encore® Azaleas this fall to ensure your garden is the talk of the town.

Some of our picks include:

  • Autumn Embers™ Azalea: Perfect for smaller spaces, this dwarf shrub produces vibrant blooms in shades of orange and red in the fall and has excellent heat tolerance.
  • Autumn Starburst® Azalea: This medium-sized variety produces blooms in vibrant shades of pink and white and is perfect for adding height to your garden.
  • Autumn Lily™ Azalea: This beauty produces soft pink blooms for a subtle, yet eye-catching pop of color.
  • Autumn Sunset™ Azalea: For a bold statement, this large variety produces bright orange blooms that will be sure to turn heads.

Planting your Encore® Azaleas this fall will give them plenty of time to establish their root system and be ready to burst into bloom come spring. Here’s what you need to know when planting these beautiful shrubs:

Choose a location - Encore® Azaleas thrive in acidic soil with good drainage, partial shade, and protection from strong winds. The best time to plant is when the weather is cool, so aim to plant your shrubs in late fall to give them enough time to establish roots before winter. If you have clay soils, amend them with well-rotted compost, pine needles, or peat moss to improve drainage and lower the pH.

Dig the hole - The hole you dig should be twice as wide as the root ball but only as deep as the root ball. This ensures that the root flare, where the roots meet the trunk, is slightly above the soil surface. Encourage roots to spread outwards by roughening up the sides and bottom of the hole. Mix some of the soil with compost or peat moss to replace the removed soil.

Plant the shrub - Gently loosen any tangled roots and place the shrub in the hole. Backfill the hole with the soil mixture and press it down firmly to remove any air pockets. Water the roots thoroughly to help them settle into place and get rid of any air pockets.

Mulch and Water – Add 2-3 inches of organic mulch such as bark chips, straw, or pine needles around the shrub, making sure the mulch does not contact the base of the shrub. Mulch helps retain moisture, insulate the roots, and suppresses weed growth. Water the plant deeply after planting until the soil is consistently moist. In the following weeks, monitor soil moisture, and water the plant when the soil dries up or shrub leaves appear wilted.

Fertilize - Encore® Azaleas benefit from a light application of a slow-release, acidic fertilizer in the spring and summer. Spread the fertilizer around the shrub's drip line, following the package instructions. Avoid over-fertilizing or using high-nitrogen fertilizers, as this can lead to root burn and poor flowering.

Planting Encore® Azaleas this fall is an excellent way to add color and texture to your garden with minimal effort. Remember to choose a suitable location, dig the right hole, plant the shrub, mulch, water, and fertilize to ensure your shrub thrives. With proper care, your Encore® Azaleas will bloom reliably every spring and fall, providing year-round beauty to your garden. Happy planting!