Azaleas can grow big enough to form a bush or they can stay small like a pot-plant for a long time. If someone asks,” how big does azalea grow?” There actually is no right answer to this question!
How big azalea grows depends on the soil, watering, variety, location, health, and time of planting.
Typically, Dwarf azalea varieties grow to a height of 1 foot to 3 feet (0.3 meters to 0.6 meters). Large azalea varieties can grow to a size of 12 feet (3.7 meters)!
But let’s take a closer look based on azalea type and variety.
Some are native to Japan while some others are very common in North America, particularly the USA. Some are even cross-bred artificially to get the best characteristics like the size.
Evergreen hybrids are Evergreen azaleas that have been genetically advanced or crossed with another azalea type. This is usually done to get a ‘hybrid’, an azalea that is made from two different azalea types (e.g. Evergreen azalea crossed with a Deciduous azalea).
Most Encore azaleas are popular wherever they are found. This is because of their true multi-season blooming abilities. They bloom in every season except winter, to compensate for this, they are quite a cold hardy.
The Encore azaleas generally reach a height between 2.5 feet and 3 feet. But, some may extend beyond this range.
Glenn Dale Azaleas
These azaleas are a great attraction for the garden since their ‘season of interest’ varies from one type to another. They can flower as early as March or as late as June. Having a few different Glenn Dale azaleas in the garden could assure flowers in the garden from March to June.
Glenn Dale azaleas vary greatly in height, their height ranges between 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet in width.
All Satsuki azaleas are hardy plants suitable for all climate variations. Their lack of climatic restrictions isn’t all that makes them popular. Their blooming season lasts from May to June which isn’t bad for this short-growing plant.
Coming to size, Satsuki azaleas usually reach a height of 1 foot to 3 feet (0.3 meters to 0.9 meters)
Do you have to worry about bees with azaleas? Find out: do azalea bushes attract bees?
Evergreen azaleas are those species that do not lose their leaves, even in winter. Their leaves are always green, hence the name ‘Evergreen’.
Kyushu Group Azaleas
This particular group of azaleas is native to Kyushu, Japan. These azaleas are a tourist attraction as they grow high in the mountains and provide a colorful scene.
These azalea bushes normally reach a height of 3.2 feet (1 meter).
There are two azalea types in the Kyushu azalea group, Kaempferi azaleas and Kiusianum azaleas.
1. Kaempferi azaleas
This azalea type is mostly found in Japan to which it is indigenous. These azaleas happen to be extremely tolerant to cold temperatures. Of course, they will still need your protection against snow and wind to survive.
Bloom season lasts from late April till early May.
Kaempferi azaleas grow very tall and their height ranges from 4 feet to 10 feet (1.2 meters to 1.8 meters).
2. Kiusianum azaleas
Again these azaleas are not native to the USA. They like part-sun to full-sun. This makes sense since their origin, Japan, doesn’t see much intense sunlight in most seasons.
The Kiusianum azalea is low-growing and has dense bushes that grow to a size of 2 feet to 4 feet (0.6 meters to 1.2 meters) in height and >1 foot to 4 feet (up to 1.2 meters) in width.
Also going by the name of Indian azaleas, Indica azaleas are renowned for bearing large flowers and large leaves. Blooming time for this group of azaleas lasts a month, usually from early March to late April.
Indica azaleas show amazing heights. They grow to a height between 6 feet and 10 feet (1.8 meters to 3 meters).
Unlike Evergreen Azaleas, these azaleas do lose their leaves and then regrow them. The deciduous azalea is also more hardy and doesn’t necessarily need excessive winter protection.
As the name suggests, these azaleas are characterized by having white flowers with or without blotches of other colors. It contains seven species.
Six of them are found to grow in the Eastern United States and Canada. They can grow in mountainous areas at rather high altitudes.
“White group” azaleas reach a maximum height of 3.9 feet to 4.9 feet (1.2 meters to 1.5 meters).
The “Pink group” azalea bloom before the leaves have even fully expanded. This happens in early Spring. The flower blooms range in terms of pink shades i.e. pale pink, deep pink, and even cherry red!
At maturity, “pink group” azalea stands at 6 feet to 8 feet (1.8 meters to 2.4 meters) with 4 feet to 6 feet (1.2 meters to 1.8 meters) width. This makes them slightly over average-sized.
Flowers of the orange group azaleas can vary in actual color, but it is just a matter of shades. They can be yellow, orange, golden, or scarlet red. This creates great variation in their azalea flower appearances.
As for size, the “orange group” azaleas can reach a height of 8 feet to 10 feet (2.4 meters to 3 meters).
Factors That Influence How Big Azaleas Grow
Every azalea isn’t guaranteed to grow to the full size of that particular azalea variety. It will take some particular care and condition regimes to make your azaleas grow to their full potential.
This particularly applies to environmental and garden conditions like soil, watering, variety, and location of planting.
Soil (Nutrients and pH)
The quality and chemistry of soil happen to be one of the most crucial factors in determining how big azalea should grow. If all conditions line up but the soil is poor, the azaleas will not grow to their full capacity. The soil must suit an azalea’s need to help it grow.
An excess of undesirable chemicals or materials can hamper growth. While a lack of nutrients or materials can and most probably will stunt growth.
Competition among azalea plants growing in the same area with the same soil can also impact growth and size.
Water them too much and they will die, but water them too little and they may be stunted or die! However, when uncertain about how much to water azaleas, less is better than more.
Typically, if you want the best growth from your azaleas, the soil should remain moist.
Overly wet conditions could induce root rot or root diseases resulting from a thriving fungal population. Usually, a full-grown established azalea needs a generous watering a week.
That is considering no rainfall has occurred in two weeks.
Get the answer to, do azalea need lots of water?
Azalea size varies by variety. Some grow monstrously into giant shrubs. While others remain compact and controllable for indoor growing.
Some specially created hybrids are known to be of smaller size than traditional azalea species. This is because these hybrids have the best characteristics compared to normal varieties. People like plants that are easy to maintain and that flower well for longer.
Thus, genetically enhanced azalea variants are preferred over the larger less showy azalea species. Also, people like plants that live longer and are tolerant to pests, disease, and harsh elements.
Location does matter because it is only through the location that you will be able to satisfy an azalea’s sun and shade requirements.
Choosing the most optimal location can lead your azalea to grow to its maximum size. That is provided all other requirements are given to it.
Sun, shade, and shelter from wind, rain, and snow are crucial for azaleas to grow to their full potential. Fences and tall trees provide cover for azaleas and chances to reach a decent height and perhaps its maximum height.
Preferably, azaleas like morning sun and afternoon shade. This is the ideal setup to provide them with enough of both conditions.
Health (Disease and Pests)
Pests and diseases can greatly reduce the lifespan, flower output, and size of an azalea plant. As the caretaker of these plants, you will have to make efforts and take precautions to prevent such scenarios.
Also, the time at which a disease or pest infestation affects the plant can influence size. If it affects the plants early on, their growth will suffer. Their growth may not be correctable.
Time of Planting
Season of planting is also another factor to consider when questioning how big does azalea grows. Planting them in Spring or Fall is your best option. This gives the plants more than enough time to grow. That is because it will have to grow a lot to survive winter.
If the azaleas are planted too late or close to winter, their growth will not be enough to sustain them through winter. As a result, these plants could undergo severe damage by winter’s snow and rain. This will not give the plants their best start in life and growth could be minimal.
Severe cold damage could result in a lack of growth and your azalea could forever stay small.
Pruning Can Affect Azalea Size
All pruning activities can reduce or tame an azalea’s appearance, often leading it to look smaller and more compact.
Whether or not the extent of pruning can undoubtedly affect the size of an azalea. It can also lead to misleading assumptions about an azalea’s size.
Likewise, unpruned azalea plants could appear much bigger in size than they actually are! It’s almost a case of optical illusion.
But in the long term, pruning does have a beneficial effect on your azaleas. It stimulates new growth which can lead your azalea to become healthy and large in the process.
Also, pruning can be of several types. Maintenance, rejuvenating, and radical pruning are the most common methods that apply to shape or cut back an azalea. Each of them also has effects on size.
In radical pruning, the entire azalea plant can be cut back. In such cases, it is difficult to calculate the real size of an azalea plant.
But with maintenance pruning, it is somewhat easier to guess the size of the azalea. So, that’s even before it was pruning occurs.
Azaleas are known to have a standard size of between 2 feet and 12 feet in height. Dwarf variants are closer to the lower figure and large ones are closer to the maximum. But, several varieties lie in-between this height range.
Although azalea species and varieties come in predefined sizes, not all will grow to that size. How big azaleas grow depends greatly on the conditions and care you provide them with. Everything needs to be right, soil, watering, location, health, variety will affect their size.
How tall and wide do Azaleas grow?
How tall and wide azaleas grow depends on many factors but mostly the variety determines this. On average, azalea stands at 4 feet with a width of 4 feet (1.2 meters by 1.2 meters). But, many are below and above these measurements.
Do Azaleas like full sun?
No, azaleas don’t like full sun. If there are a few that do it’s because the sun is not intense in that particular location. They like morning sun and afternoon shade, this is offered under taller trees.