Azalea Bushes That Bloom All Year: A Guide to Evergreen and Reblooming Varieties

Azaleas are treasured in Southern gardens for their vibrant spring blooms in shades of pink red white, purple and more. But did you know there are actually azalea varieties that can bloom all year long? While most azaleas flower only in spring, some reblooming hybrids will flower in spring, summer and fall to extend the color show.

What Makes Azaleas Bloom All Season?

Most azaleas are spring blooming plants. They form buds in fall that remain dormant over winter. As daylight hours increase in spring, the buds swell and open into flowers. Once that initial flush of bloom finishes, they will not rebloom again until the following spring.

However, some azalea varieties have a special ability to bloom repeatedly in one growing season due to:

  • Being crossed with reblooming species like Rhododendron oldhamii that initiate new blooms on current season’s growth

  • Having multiple cycles of growth and flowering per year.

This allows certain azaleas to bloom in spring, rest briefly, and then send out a new crop of buds in summer. They flower again in fall, taking a break in winter before the cycle begins again.

Best Azalea Varieties for Year-Round Blooms

If you want azaleas that bloom for months instead of just weeks, consider these top reblooming varieties:

Encore Azaleas

The Encore series features patented hybrids developed specifically for repeat blooming. They bloom in spring, take a break in summer, and then flower again in fall. Choices like ‘Autumn Amethyst’, ‘Autumn Bonfire’, ‘Autumn Rouge’ and others provide color from late winter into fall.

Bloom-A-Thon Azaleas

Bloom-A-Thon azaleas can bloom for up to 21 weeks a year with flowers in spring, summer and fall. Some top picks are ‘White’, ‘Pink Double’ and ‘Red’.

ReBloom Azaleas

Another line specially bred for reblooming, the ReBloom azaleas include ‘Coral Amazement’, ‘Pink Adoration’, ‘Purple Spectacular’ and others that bloom in multiple seasons.

Girard Azaleas

While best known as a group of hardy evergreen azaleas, some Girard hybrids like ‘Girard’s Rose’ and ‘Girard’s Crimson’ will provide repeat blooms.

Native Azaleas

Late blooming native azaleas like the plumleaf azalea (Rhododendron prunifolium) often have a second, lighter flush of blooms in fall after flowering heavily in spring.

Caring for Reblooming Azaleas

To encourage azaleas to flower abundantly and repeat bloom, provide:

  • Sunny location with at least 6 hours of direct sun daily

  • Rich, acidic, well-draining soil high in organic matter

  • Regular water during growing season, allow soil to dry between waterings

  • Fertilize in early spring and again after summer blooms fade

  • Prune immediately after spring flowering is finished

With proper care, you can enjoy gorgeous azalea blooms multiple times per year. Choose reblooming varieties and follow best practices for watering, soil, light and pruning. Your efforts will be rewarded with azaleas that flower for months instead of just weeks!

Evergreen vs Deciduous Azaleas

When selecting azaleas, it’s also important to know whether you want evergreen or deciduous varieties. Here are some key differences:

Evergreen Azaleas

  • Keep green foliage year-round

  • Have smaller leaves and more compact habit

  • Bloom earlier in spring

  • Prefer partial shade

  • Hardy only in zones 6-9

Examples: Kurume hybrids, Southern Indica hybrids, Encore azaleas

Deciduous Azaleas

  • Lose leaves in fall for winter dormancy

  • Grow more openly with larger leaves

  • Bloom later in spring

  • Tolerate full sun

  • Hardy in zones 4-9

Examples: Native deciduous azaleas, Exbury/Knaphill hybrids

While evergreen types are ideal for Southern gardens, deciduous azaleas offer greater cold hardiness and can be grown in colder climates. Be sure to choose varieties suited for your specific growing zone.

Frequently Asked Azalea Questions

Here are answers to some common gardening questions about azaleas:

How often do azaleas bloom?

Most azaleas only bloom once a year in spring. But reblooming varieties can flower in spring, summer, and fall.

What azaleas bloom all summer?

Look for Encore, Bloom-A-Thon and ReBloom azalea varieties to get the most summer blooms. Hybrids with Rhododendron oldhamii parentage rebloom best.

Do azaleas bloom more than once?

While many only bloom in spring, reblooming hybrids will flower multiple times from late winter through fall. Choose repeat bloomers for the longest flowering.

How long do azalea blooms last?

Individual azalea blooms last around 7-10 days. But the total bloom period for a spring azalea is typically 2-3 weeks. Reblooming azaleas flower on and off for months.

With the right variety, proper care and ideal growing conditions, it is possible to have azaleas blooming nearly year-round in Southern gardens. Choose reblooming hybrids, provide excellent care and your azalea bushes will reward you with months of vibrant color.

Sort by: featured

Plant these Azaleas in full sun to part shade. Water deeply twice weekly for 2 to 3 months after planting. Once established, these bushes are drought tolerant. However, a deep watering once weekly during periods of drought will encourage better growth and blooms. Fertilize Azalea bushes in early spring with our slow release fertilizer. Read on for additional info on Azalea care.

How to Plant Encore Azaleas

To plant Encore Azaleas, make a hole that is at least twice as wide as the root ball but not quite as deep as the root ball is tall. Place the bush evenly in the hole. Make sure the root ball’s top is just above the soil line, and then fill in the holes with the soil you dug out. Water deeply until the water begins to pool. Apply 1 to 2 inches of pine straw or pine bark mulch to reduce watering needs and weeds. Azaleas like an acidic soil and pine mulches will help acidify the soil over time.

20 Shrubs that Bloom All Year | Year Round Shrubs According to Season

Leave a Comment