Although heat tolerant, in areas of excessive sun stress, such as Southern California or valley areas, shade may be required. Afternoon shade is recommended to protect plants from the hot, drying sun. In areas with hot, dry, summer winds, try to plant your Encore® Azalea where it will be sheltered. During the drier, summer months be sure to provide adequate water, especially while your new Encore® Azaleas are becoming established.
While full sun is acceptable in the Pacific Northwest, do your best to provide your Encore® Azalea with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. This is recommended for optimal blooms. If your Encore® Azalea isn’t blooming in multiple seasons, it may be in too much shade. If this is the case, try moving the plants to a sunnier location. Because Encore® Azaleas planted in the Northwest may receive even less sunlight than those growing in other climates, you will want to choose sunnier areas that are protected from harsh, northerly, winter winds.
Dig a hole twice as wide as it is deep. Remove your Encore® Azalea from its container and carefully but firmly loosen the root ball. Set the plant into the hole you have prepared, making sure the top of the root ball is above the soil level. Pull your soil around the plant, water thoroughly and cover with mulch.
Water your Encore® Azalea well when you first plant it, and keep the soil moist until winter. New azaleas will die quickly if the soil dries excessively. Your new Encore® Azalea should not need regular watering after the first year unless there are periods of excessive drought. Fertilize with the recommended levels of azalea feed soon after planting. Do not fertilize after August.
Encore® Azaleas require very little pruning to retain good form and do not need “dead-heading.” If you think your Encore® Azalea needs pruning, do so immediately after the spring flowering for maximum bud set. Light pruning of more established plants will stimulate growth and flowering.