How To Plant Encore Azaleas In Containers & Pots

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This article provides tips and instructions for planting Encore Azales in the ground or in containers
by Brett · All Zones · Planting · 0 Comments · August 18, 2015 · 8,937 views

Container Planting Tips for Encore Azaleas

Whether you're looking to spruce up a patio, porch or deck, or live and garden in a USDA Zone too far north to grow them year round outdoors, Encore Azaleas are a great candidate for container gardens. In zones where Encore Azaleas are winter hardy containers can be left outdoors year round. If you garden in zones further north, where temperatures drop too low, you can move the container indoors for the winter.

When planting an Encore Azalea in a container or pot, I recommend using a quality potting soil or potting mix, or a 50/50 combination thereof. Shrubs growing in pots appreciate a moist but well-drained soil. Constantly soggy soil can and often will cause root rot or other harmful plant diseases. You can also add some pumice (maybe 20%) to the soil mixture to help with drainage. Pumis is an excellent soil conditioner, as it is highly porous providing excellent water, air, and nutrient holding capabilities. Pumice will not decompose or compact over time and is very lightweight. Agricultural grade pumice can usually be found at local feed stores as a product called Dry Stall. The particle size is about 1/8". It's a good idea to wash the product before use to remove the fine particles. If you can't find Pumice you can substitute with perlite.

Also make sure to choose a container with drainage holes at the bottom and one that that will match the size of your Encore Azalea when it's mature, or one that is large enough to allow for 2 to 3 years of growth before shifting up to a larger size container. This might mean your planting pot would be 4 inches or more wider than the root ball of your plant.

Container color will matter as well. Not only will you want to pick a color of container that goes well with the flower and foliage color of your Encore Azalea, you'll also want to pick a container that matches the style of your home or other structures and other plants in the surrounding environment.

Many nursery & garden centers offer a wide variety of containers to choose from. Before heading out to buy a container take pictures of your home and the surrounding environment. Doing so will help you to choose just the right color and style.

Step-By-Step Container Planting Instructions

 PictureStep 1
Before filling your container with the soil mix, I recommend lining the bottom with shade cloth or a porous landscape fabric. This will keep the drain holes from becoming stopped up with soil.

Step 2
Gently remove your plant from the container it was growing in. Or, if you fear the plant may be damaged by pulling it out of the container, cut the container away.

Step 3
Pour a small amount of your soil mixture in the bottom of the container. Set your Encore Azalea in the container and make necessary adjustments by adding or removing some soil so that the top edge of the root ball will sit 1/2 to 1" below the rim of the container.

Step 4
Backfill with your potting soil around root ball, tamping as you go, until the level of potting soil is even with the top edge of root ball.

Step 5
Water thoroughly until water starts to drain from the holes in the bottom of the container. Add more potting mix if settling occurs during watering.

Step 6 (Optional)
Apply a 1/2" layer of wood chips or spaghnum moss to soil surface to help conserve moisture. Also consider planting low growing plants around the base of your Encore Azalea

You can buy all 29 varieties of Encore Azaleas online at


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