Choosing the Best Pots for Your Azaleas

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Stephanie

All azaleas thrive in pots, but there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right pot to plant your Azaleas.

Every aspect will affect the way your azalea develops and blooms.

The ideal container for Azaleas can be made from clay, ceramic, or Terracotta because they keep the roots cool during summer as opposed to metal or plastic pots. Azalea pots should have drainage holes at the base to allow water to drain away. A 16-inch diameter will ensure that the pots have enough soil to provide insulation, and also retains enough water.

Good Drainage at the Base of the Pot or Container

The most significant feature of a pot that is used for Azaleas is that it should have drainage holes at the base. In the absence of drainage holes, the pot will hold rain and roots would become overflowing. Azaleas need moist soil, but the soil that is boggy or saturated will quickly cause the fungal disease known as root rot.

Its recommended to put a 1 inch layer of gravel on the base of your pot prior to placing the soil in and then planting the Azalea. This will permit the drainage holes to remain free of soil that has been compacted or anything other obstruction to the flow of excess water from into the pots bottom.

Of course , the correct mixing of azaleas potting soil is essential to ensure that the azaleas roots are in the right proportion of soil that is moist and is also draining well. Check out my article on the most effective potting mix to use for Azales to learn the best methods.

If the pot is outside its a good idea to place the container or pot on feet that raise the pot a bit off the ground. When pots are set on patios, the water can is able to drain from the inside of the pot, and then pool on a slab of patio which could make the soil dense for Azaleas.

When the container is raised above the ground, then water will drain efficiently and the azalea will stay healthy and free from the fungal disease known as root decay (plyothera) that is among the most prevalent azalea diseases. If the azalea in your container appears poor, read my article about the most common issues with potted Azales.

Beware of this error!


One of the most common mistakes made by potted plants is to put drip drays underneath the pot to collect any water that drips out of the base, especially when indoor pots are used.

It will capture all the water that drains from the pot. It will result in the same effect like a pot with no drainage holes. The soil will soon become overflowing and the azalea begins to show signs of root decay.

For indoor pots, I would suggest that you move your azalea outside for a few minutes or put it inside the kitchen sink for about 30 minutes after watering, to prevent water from escaping the pot and causing damage to furniture or settling on windowsills. For more information on how to water, check out my article to the amount and how often you should water the azaleas.

Best Material for Potted Azaleas

Another thing to consider is the kind of material the pot is made from. What is the best material to use? metal, plastic ceramic, wood, or clay?

Azaleas can be planted in containers and pots made of nearly any material, however certain varieties are more effective than others.

Personally, I would recommend against using pots made of plastic and metal for cultivating azaleas and rhododendrons. Metal is a great conductor of heat, and consequently can heat up quickly in sunlight.

If the pot is heated it will increase the rate of evaporation of soil and increase the likelihood of drought, and could increase the risk of roots contracting fungal diseases. root rot since the soil that is warm is among the conditions that encourages the development of disease.

Metal pots may need to increase the frequency of watering during hotter temperatures, which can be a hassle since azaleas typically require moist soil and cool roots . They are among the first plant in the garden to die due to the drought.

Plastic pots are usually suitable to grow azaleas so they have lots of drainage holes and isnt too thin. A thicker pot can help maintain the temperature of soil as well as roots cool during hot weather. However, plastic tends to make it less breathable for the azaleas roots to breathe.

Terracotta, ceramic or clay pots are the most suitable for cultivating Azaleas. A clay pot that is thick can stop sunlight from warming up the soil and will protect the azaleas shallow root system from drying out. A pot that is thicker also helps to shield the roots of azaleas during winter.

Clay pots can also be more breathable, which aids in the azalea roots to breathe.

Containers made of wood can be useful as they can be used to conserve water. Azaleas, however, require a constant humid soil, which can cause the wood to decay, so it is possible to have to replace the pot within several years. This is why clay, terracotta and ceramic pots are a better choice for growing Azaleas.

Best Pot Size For Growing Azaleas

Azaleas are fairly shallow-rooted plants that means they are susceptible to drought during hot weather or due to frequent watering.

So a larger pot for azaleas in the garden is recommended since bigger pots have more capacity to hold soil. The more soil that is in pots, the more water can be preserved, which lowers the chance of drought since pots are prone to drying out quickly anyway.

The soil can also provide more protection for roots from the cold, which could increase the azaleas resistance to the harshest of Winter weather , and provide more access to the nutrients needed by the roots.

I have seen azaleas in the outdoors thrive in pots that measure at least 16 inches wide. This allows the azaleas shallow roots the space they need to spread out and access the water and nutrients.

Azaleas arent too concerned about being a bit pot-bound as they are regularly watered and receive fertiliser applied in the spring. Fertilizing the azaleas in containers is essential to ensure healthy leaves and a dazzling bloom in the summer and springtime. Check out my article to learn more information on the best time and method to fertilize Azaleas in containers and pots.

The pots size can ultimately limit the growth of the roots and size of the Azalea. If you are in a room in which cold temperatures are less of a problem Azleas can be planted in smaller pots, especially if youre cultivating to use azaleas in bonsai (azaleas are an excellent option for cultivating robust bonsai plants).

Key Takeaways:

  • A pot that measures 16 inches wide is the perfect size to grow Azaleas. It ensures that the pot has enough soil to provide insulation during winter, and also holds enough water for the small roots.
  • The most suitable material for potted Azleas is clay, ceramic, or terracotta since they dont rapidly heat up in the sun, whereas plastic and metal pots transfer heat effectively, which dry out the soil, causing drought.
  • The most significant feature of a pot designed for Azaleas is that it comes with an opening for drainage in its base to ensure that the soil doesnt become overly saturated. The layer of gravel on the bottom of the pot can prevent obstruction of drainage holes by a compacted soil, ensuring that water can drain easily from the base of the container.


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 :)