Azaleas are relatively long-living flowering plants that boast colorful blooms in Spring.
But, is this the only time that these flowers decide to grace your garden with a dash of color? The answer is no. Azaleas can flower at other times of the year as well!
Do azalea bushes bloom in the fall? The answer is yes! Some azalea bushes can bloom in the fall.
Want to know more about this surprising discovery? Continue reading to find out more about this.
When Do Azaleas Bloom?
Traditionally, azaleas flower in Spring. However, the plants may deviate slightly in terms of timing. They could bloom early, mid, or late spring.
But, sometimes when weather conditions that apply in spring are late or early, the bloom time changes.
Based on the azalea’s exact blooming time, azaleas undergo segregation in to three groups.
Early Season Azaleas
Early season azaleas will start to flower the earliest of all azalea plants. Expect them to bloom in late winter to early spring.
Examples of Early Season Azalea Species
- Rhododendron atlanticum, Rhododendron austrinum, Rhododendron canescens
Examples of Early Season Azalea Cultivars
- Glenn Dale
Mid Season Azaleas
All mid-season azaleas start almost on time! They are most likely to be in bloom from late spring to early summer.
Examples of Mid Season Azalea Species
- Rhododendron alabamense, Rhododendron canadense, Rhododendron indicum
Examples of Mid Season Azalea Cultivars
- Northern Lights
Late Season Azaleas
This batch of azaleas are usually the last to bloom. Late season azaleas bloom from midsummer to the fall.
Examples of Late Season Azalea Species
- Rhododendron arborescens, Rhododendron occidentale, Rhododendron viscosum
Examples of Late Season Azalea Cultivars
NOTE: In addition to these three groups of azaleas, there are those that are cross-bred to create hybrids. These hybrids may flower more than once. First in spring and then again in midsummer or fall.
Factors Affecting Azalea Blooming Time/Duration
A variety of factors decide the blooming time of an azalea. These blooming aspects are very important as even if one is off, blooming may be compromised. Making sure your azaleas flower wonderfully will require a bit more of your attention.
Here’s what influences when your azalea will bloom.
The season is extremely important when it comes to flowering. By winter, most azaleas already form their flower buds. But, they don’t open them just yet. Instead, they wait till spring arrives.
That said, if you wait too late to plant, you could forfeit blooming or at least one blooming. That’s because the azaleas won’t have enough time to prepare their flower buds in time for blooming.
Sunlight is just as important as shade and perhaps this is why spring is the favored time of flowering. But, for some azaleas, slightly cooler temperatures can stimulate flowering.
Want to know how big do Azaleas grow? These are Azalea varieties and sizes.
Certain climatic conditions also influence the azalea bloom period and the exact time of blooming. Change in climate can bring forward or put back azalea flowering for a week or two.
Azaleas bushes may show a decrease in flowering when temperatures dip. Or even a steep climb in temperatures may drop blooming capacity. This is because these conditions induce stress in the plant.
What type of azalea you are planting does also set guidelines. Particularly about when and for how long the azalea will bloom.
Some are early bloomers, mid bloomers, or even late bloomers. Hybrids are known to offer several blooms, some of which coincide with the fall!
The species and particular cultivar that an azalea belongs to can have a very different flowering schedule compared to others.
Lack of water can cause flower buds to suddenly dry out. As a result, the flower count will greatly reduce.
Be sure to water your azalea bushes often enough to keep them moist and avoid drying out. Normally a generous watering every 10 to 14 days does it. But, this depends on your climate, season, and soil drainage capacity.
Failure to care for your azaleas properly can induce poor flowering or even a lack of it. This involves mulching and pruning activities. As well as protecting your plants from the winter frost.
You must prune and mulch azaleas in order to groom them for a bountiful bloom.
If not, you are most likely to get a poor disappointing bloom consisting of a few flowers of average size. Also, the soil should be passable. This is something that is in your control.
How Long Do Azaleas Bloom For?
The duration for which azaleas bloom can be very different. There are various factors that influence this. While some are directly controllable, others aren’t. Azaleas bloom for weeks or months at a time.
When all conditions are optimal, azaleas bloom for up to 7 months. In colder climates, azaleas only flower for 3 weeks to 3 months. Also, azalea variety plays a role in bloom duration.
But, even long-blooming azaleas can show shorter blooms in certain situations. Poor health or severe climate change can decrease their blooming time. Also, certain actions can improve the bloom length of short blooming azaleas.
Plus or minus a few extra degrees in temperature or a few hours of sunlight and blooming will be affected. Apart from this, watering, mulching, and pruning efforts also play a role in flowering.
Regardless of which azalea variant you have, you must provide the best care for it.
Do Azaleas Bloom In The Fall?
Typically spring is the most common time that azalea bushes will bloom. But, as mentioned before, azaleas can bloom at various times anywhere from late winter through to the fall if they are hybrids.
Generally, azaleas that bloom in the fall are actually ‘rebloomers’. This means they have a second bloom that coincides with the fall season.
The first bloom arrives in mid or late spring. While the second bloom continues through the summer and fall until heavy winter frost sets in. This means the flowers will first start in mid/late July and persist through to September (maybe even November)!
Interested in knowing which azaleas bloom in the fall? There are three main azaleas to plant for fall blooming.
These evergreen azalea bushes keep their greenery throughout the year. You will observe flowering in spring as well as late summer to early winter. Flower buds develop in summer and won’t open till spring.
While spring/summer blooms are full and appealing, fall flowering may not be that theatrical! With Encore azaleas, your garden won’t look dull, especially not during fall. Flowers are appealing and include colors like red, pink, and even coral!
The appearance of ‘ReBloom’ azaleas is different from most traditional azaleas. They have ‘double’ or ‘triple’ petal flowers. They begin to bloom in spring and eventually end. Then again in summer, they bloom. This lasts through till frost halts its efforts.
This evergreen and compact azalea is quite hardy and remains lush and green throughout the year. Flowers are colorful and punchy with light eye-catching colors. Pinks, reds, purples, corals, and whites are a few colors you will find them in.
These thrive in part-shade, part-sun locations with moist soil.
The name really is appropriate for this azalea hybrid! There is almost nothing that will stop this disease-resistant plant from flowering. Not even hot temperatures.
The Bloom-A-Thon variant will bloom once in April (spring) and once again in July (summer). The second batch of flowers will persist through to fall.
This evergreen azalea blooms for 4 to 6 weeks in its first flowering. The second one is more impressive with a 12 to 16 week run from summer to fall! Impressive right?
Flowers are usually said to be better than all other azaleas. They appear in an array of colors such as red, pink, lavender, and white. This of course earns them many admirers.
How to Extend Azalea Blooming Time?
Azaleas make the garden colorful with their vibrant pastel colors and healthy green foliage.
We won’t hold anything against you for wanting to extend this appeal. You must be wondering how to accomplish this task.
Azaleas can bloom for anywhere between 3 weeks to a few months. There are even some claims that one Encore azalea bloomed for 9 months! Additionally, it blooms twice if they are hybrids.
There are a few ways to try to extend the blooming period of your azalea:
- Buy genetically modified azalea cultivars. These are hybrids whose creation involves selecting only the best and strongest genes from each parent. Azalea types with long blooming season can be crossed to arrive at a superior variant.
- Applying an acidic fertilizer may help your plants flower on time in spring. A fertilizer with equal N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) ratios is best. Ratios should be 15:15:15 for best results. Sometimes azaleas cannot get enough Nitrogen so giving it to them could aid flowering.
- Another option to increase number or blooms, flowers, and perhaps bloom time is pruning. Rejuvenation pruning can help to stimulate growth of stems which will bear flower shoots.
- Deadheading (removal of spent flowers) will be likely to revert energy back to the plant and stimulate more flowering.
- Take extra good care of azaleas once you notice it has formed flower buds. They need excellent watering efforts and protection from the elements. This especially applies to azaleas that form buds before winter.
As you have probably read already, azaleas show great variation in timing and duration of blooming.
Although almost all azaleas bloom during the Spring season. Others can delay till Summer and this will overlap till the Fall season. However, some hybrids will have a second bloom which can last throughout the Fall season till Winter frost appears.
Apart from their natural timing, several aspects or factors can influence azaleas blooming tendencies. This includes the following:
- Azalea type
Manage to provide optimal conditions pertaining to all of the above factors and your azaleas may just bloom for longer! Also, try to pick up a reblooming azalea if you can.
It is not rare or impossible for an azalea to bloom in the fall season. Certain azaleas have very long second blooms, 12 to 16 weeks to be more precise!
Or it could be a second bloom. So, don’t worry about this blooming. Just sit back and enjoy the colorful garden while it lasts, frost will soon halt the show!
Azaleas normally bloom once in Spring. However, new varieties of azaleas have been created with the purpose of blooming a second time and for a very long time. One example is the Encore azalea series which can bloom for a second time coinciding with the fall.