The bright spring colors of azaleas always draw attention to a home landscape in spring. Once azaleas are established they are very hardy plants, but care should be given to choosing the best planting location, soil type and watering frequency, in order to get them off to a good start. The most common insect pest appears to be lacebug, but these pests can be easily controlled with the proper timing of control applications.
Eastern or northern exposures are usually best for azaleas, as opposed to the harsher wind and sun conditions found in western and southern exposures. Winter winds can easily desiccate evergreen azaleas, so make sure they have adequate soil moisture going into winter. Some homeowners construct "screens," using landscape fabric or burlap nailed to wooden stakes, to protect their azaleas from the harsh effects of winter wind.
While azaleas require regular watering to become properly established, you shouldn't plant azaleas in poorly drained, wet areas in heavy clay soils. Enriching most garden soils with peat moss will help provide better growing conditions for your azalea. Mounding your planting area with a good topsoil-peat moss mix will often provide a solution to planting in problem areas.
Thorough weekly watering of azaleas in Northeastern US landscapes during dry spells will greatly enhance your chances of success. We have traditionally seen azaleas establish faster, and grow better, in regularly irrigated landscapes.
MORE: Photos of Azaleas