The Q&A Archives: Fall Blooming Azalea

Question: I recently received a gift of a white blossomed fall blooming azalea. When can I plant it outdoors?

Answer: Florists azaleas are forced into blooming out of season. The plant may or may not overcome this habit. You can plant your azalea outdoors in the springtime (April or May). It probably won't bloom until the following winter, which will make the blossoms susceptible to frost, and keep the plant from going into natural dormancy, making it more susceptible to winter freeze. But, after 2-3 years in the ground, the plant may revert to the normal spring blossoming time, or it may decide it doesn't like to be out in the elements and will die. I have one that produced flowers at Thanksgiving time for three years before it finally gave up and disappeared. It was sure nice while it lasted! Alternately, you can put the plant outdoors in the spring and summer months and bring it back indoors in the fall and winter, where it should continue to bloom out of season.

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