Posted by Brent Wilson on 6/30/2016 to Fertilizing & Watering Tips
Encore Azaleas are among the easiest of all azaleas to grow. A little good advice goes along way for success growing azaleas. Because they don't like constantly soggy or wet soil, avoid planting Encore Azaleas in a poorly drained soil that stays constantly soggy or wet. Well-drained soil is a essential.
At Planting Time
Immediately after planting deep soak the soil in the planting area, including the rootball, to a depth equal to the height of the root ball. For an extra boost, to stimulate early root formation and stronger root development you can also water you newly planted Encore Azaleas with a solution of Root Stimulator, which reduces transplant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants.
Note: When planted during the winter dormant season your Encore Azaleas will require less water. So, be extra careful not to overwater during winter!
During the First Active Growth Season
In average garden soil you should not have to water your newly planted Encore Azaleas every day. More often than not, this causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and other harmful plant diseases. In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water only as needed to keep the rootball and surrounding soil damp to moist. Keep in mind that deep soaking less frequently is much better than splashing just a little water on the plants every day.
When well established, Encore Azaleas are quite drought tolerant. That being said, if you see new leaves wilting or tips of stems bending over during a drought this could be a sign that your azaleas could use a good deep soaking.
Watering Encore Azaleas In Containers
Encore Azaleas growing in containers will require closer attention to soil moisture. Check soil moisture regularly and provide water if the top inch or two of the soil is somewhat dry to dry. During cooler months, Encore Azaleas growing in containers will not require as much water.
When watering with an automated irrigation system it's best to set your timer to water during the early morning hours and not in the late evening or at night, which can lead to the onset of fungus and other foliage diseases. During the first few weeks after planting, check soil moisture often and adjust irrigation time if necessary to keep the soil moist, not wet.
To avoid development of fungus and other foliage disease, avoid watering Encore Azaleas, and any other plants for that matter, in the late evening or at night. It's best to water in the early to late morning hours.