7 Reasons why your Azaleas are not Blooming

Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by admin

The two most important elements that directly affect the blooming of azaleas are:

  1. The amount of sun (azaleas like partial shade more than deep shade)
  2. If the temperature is too hot or cold, the azalea might not bloom.

There are many other reasons your azalea isnt blooming, but they are usually related to signs of stress due to the deteriorating conditions or improper care practices for the Azalea. The reasons include:

  • Harsh pruning after flower buds have developed
  • The soil is poor (not sufficient nutrients)
  • Drought (azaleas require soil that is consistently moist)
  • Applying fertilizer at the incorrect timing
  • The pH of soil (Azaleas require soil that is acidic)

Lets look at the ways these variables influence blooming and what you can do to fix the issue.

Lack of Sun

One of the most frequent reasons why azaleas arent blooming is because of a absence of sunlight.

Azaleas like partial shade, but not full shading or even full sunlight. Part shade is the dappled light that comes from the canopy of a tree in the daytime (this mimics their natural growth conditions) or it can be just a few hours of sunshine then a layer of protection from midday sun that can cause scorching to the leaves.

Azaleas that are in full shade or with little sunlight will not receive enough sunlight to encourage flowering, or even little flowers.

For a great bloom next year, move the azalea into a spot that has 4 hours of sun in the morning and shade during the afternoon, or prune back any overhanging plants or other plants that could cause too much shade over your Azaleas.

The ideal moment for you to transfer azaleas during the fall when the temperatures arent as high as in summer, but the soil remains sufficiently warm for the roots to grow.

The trick is finding the right balance in the quantity of sunlight to encourage flowering, and the azalea doesnt get too much sun , so that the leaves are burning when the leaves get tender.

If you decide to transfer your Azaleas into pots, youll be able to experiment with the ideal balance between sun and shade for your area so that the azalea gets enough light to encourage flowers, but not so enough that the leaves become burned by the constant sun.

In dry and hot climates (such such as California and Southern Europe) it is recommended for the azaleas to get four hours of sun in the morning at most. This is enough light to allow the azalea to flower with sufficient protection to allow for bright sunlight.

In colder climates that have more cloudy daytime (such such as Washington and Scotland) Azaleas can withstand significantly more sunlight to in flowering and less worries about burning the leaves.

If lack of sunlight is the issue and you make the needed changes to your location, in the next growing season, your azaleas will produce an improved display of flowers.

Temperature

Azalea blooms may be affected by temperature due to:

  • Frost damage to developing flowers
  • temperatures of 65degF (18deg C) to 70deg F (21deg C) are required for the development of flower buds and azaleas. generally require a time of cool temperatures during the winter.

The temperature is another important aspect in determining whether an azalea flowers.

Late Frost is often the cause of taking the flowers from spring since they arent Frost-resistant. Frost can transform new blooms and blossoms into a grayish sludge in the blink of an eye.

All you are able to do is trim back the affected growth in order to encourage the growth of new plants. Cutting back damaged frost Azalea growth can also reduce the risk of contracting diseases.

Of course, you could also safeguard the azalea by putting it in Cloches the day prior to the impending frost.

Azaleas are cultivated to need an more chilly the winter months in order in order to aid in the initiation of blooms in spring, which is accompanied by a warmer growth season that will bring blooms and new growth.

The flowers of the azalea grow during the summer preceding the blooms of the previous year. To produce flower buds the summer time temperatures between 65 and 70 deg F (18-21deg C) degrees is considered to be the ideal temperature for the the next years flowering (although this may vary on the type of the azalea).

If the temperatures in summer are too cold or hot the growth of flowers and consequently blooms for the new year are impacted which is why the blooms change between years.

In areas with temperatures that exceed 86 degrees F (30deg C) in the summer, it can influence the azaleas flower buds and the time span for which blooming azalea flower lasts.

The high temperatures can cause flowers to die faster. While frequent watering can aid the azaleas, they are best suited to environments that have cool temperatures in the summer.

Pruning at the Wrong Time

Azaleas dont require trimming each year in the same like roses do.

But a little pruning every now and then can be beneficial to improve the appearance of the azalea, or to take away damaged branches from the wind or winters effects.

The ideal time to trim is right after the azalea has bloomed otherwise , you could cut off the flower buds that are developing which will produce next years flowers if you cut them back in late Summer winter, fall or winter and you have to endure an entire year without flowers.

Poor Soil

A poor soil that doesnt have enough nutrients can affect the health of the azalea , and consequently, the azalea wont flower. Azaleas arent heavy feeders however they require soil that have a high organic content in order to flourish.

Sandy soils dont hold nutrients as well as loam soils, or soils that are amended with compost, or any other organic material.

Soils that are low in phosphorus can result in azaleas and other plants to not bloom since phosphorus is linked with the growth of flowers (nitrogen as well as potassium and others trace elements are also essential for the overall health of azaleas).

Azaleas are greatly benefited when the soil is prepared prior to planting using various organic materials because this provides the soil with the nutrients, structure, and balance of moisture that Azaleas need. Learn more in my article on the best way to prepare the garden soil for the planting of Azaleas.

Alternately, if changing the soil is too complicated or time-consuming then you could move the azalea into an elevated bed or pot in which you control the soil mix to ensure that your Azales will flourish and bloom.

Fertilizing the azalea each year in the spring is usually essential in gardens that have poor soil.

Drought

Azaleas are rooted in shallow soils that require soil moisture, which is why they are usually the first garden plant to exhibit indications of dryness.

When the plants only beginning to turn brown and the leaves start to curl, then the azalea needs a good soak. It will also appreciate an excellent layer of mulch (such like leaf mold) to help hold in the moisture. The plant will be able to recover within the next 24 hours.

But, prolonged drought or drought during the incorrect time of the year could slow growth and could be the main factor in azaleas Spring bloom. Azaleas need moist soil (but they do not require saturated soil) throughout the year and if the soil is dry in the time of development of buds, the azalea is likely to produce less flowers, if it blooms even.

Learn from my article the amount and how often you should water your Azaleas.

A well-groomed soil, a layer of mulch, and knowing the frequency and amount to water your azalea can reduce the risk of drought. It will also ensure the azalea is healthy and ensure that the buds will develop to allow to bloom next year.

Be aware that flowers wont last long if theres excessive sunshine, accompanied by extreme temperatures and dry conditions. Azaleas like some shade and the protection of intense sunlight that ensures their flowers last for a long time.

Fertilizer Application following Blooms are disrupted by the spring

One common mistake made by gardeners is adding fertilizer to azaleas during the wrong time of the year and possibly using the wrong kind of fertilizer.

If the azalea has been planted in a well-prepared soil, they dont necessarily need fertilizer to produce a stunning bloom. However, too many fertilizers can cause more harm than good. But a fertilizer may benefit the azaleas that have poor soil when it is applied prior to the beginning of Spring (March/April).

If you apply fertilizer too late in the summer, the Nitrogen can stimulate growth of the foliage but at the expense of flowers. The leaves could be healthy and green, however the azalea might not be blooming properly.

I recommend using an fertilizer designed specifically for azaleas, such as Miracle Grow Azlea Plant Food. It contains all the essential nutrients required by azaleas in the appropriate levels.

Azalea leaves can be quite delicate and burns to the nitrogen leaves can be a problem if the fertilizer used is too strong , hence the need to use a an appropriate product specifically for Azaleas.

Fertilizers can also help keep soil acidity in check, which assists in the uptake of nutrients from the roots , keeping the azalea in good health and is in the best conditions to bloom in the spring.

The application of fertilizer late can encourage new growth, which will end up dying in winters first freeze,, which makes the azalea more susceptible to diseases.

Soil pH

Azaleas require a soil that is acidic with a pH between 4-6 in order for a healthy growth and bloom. When the soil pH is more neutral (pH 7) or alkaline (any pH higher than 7) the azalea may exhibit signs of stress, like spindly growth, yellow leaves and a lack of flowers in spring.

In gardens that have chalky, alkaline soils, it is best to plant azaleas in pots since you are in control of the characteristics of the soil.

To find the pH of your soil and the best way to amend your soil to maintain the proper pH, check out my post on solutions for azaleas that have green leaves.

Key Takeaways:

  • Azaleas need sunshine to stimulate the flower buds , but they also require shade to safeguard the delicate leaves.
  • If temperatures are too cold or hot, this could affect the growth of flower buds, which can affect the amount of Azalea blooms every season.
  • Pruning too harshly early in the growing season could cause the next years flower buds, causing the azalea to not bloom in the spring blooming season.
  • A poor soil, such as sandy soil doesnt retain nutrients as effectively. Azaleas need soil that is rich in organic matter in order to remain healthy and bloom. Fertilisers can be used to increase blooms and improve the health of plants in low soils.
  • Azaleas need moist soil, so prolonged drought could cause harm that can result in stunted growth and the absence of blooms. Make sure the soil is prepared by adding organic matter prior to azalea planting, and use and application of mulch, and apply as much water as is needed in order to ensure that the soil is moist and prevent drought.
  • It is essential to apply fertilizer in Spring , and later or earlier during the growing season, otherwise the growth of foliage will be accelerated with the loss of flowers.
  • Azaleas need acidic soil that has a pH of 4 to 6 to absorb nutrients. If the soil is too close to neutral or alkaline, one of the signs of stress is a absence of blooms in spring, so make sure your soil has the correct pH before you plant or transferring the azalea into an area that is suited to it or alter the soil.
Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)