Masters Week: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Azaleas

It’s Masters week at Augusta National and the world’s favorite golf tournament is in full swing (pun intended!) Not only are the Masters famed for their green jackets and some of the toughest holes in the game, the course at Augusta is lined with hundreds of gorgeous azalea bushes that reach their peak this time of year

In honor of one of the great national celebrations of professional lawn care, it’s time to honor the oft-forgotten azalea. Sometimes seen as a “filler” plant, well-maintained azaleas can add color and life to all kinds of backyards, particularly those in warmer climates. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about azaleas…

Azaleas are nicknamed “The Royalty of the Garden”

Azalea plants can actually live for hundreds of years. Centuries-old plants can be found in Japan but rarely do the plants get bigger than a common shrub in stump size

Azaleas actually have very shallow roots, and prefer good drainage. One of the most common problems for azalea plants’ health is too much water or poor drainage

Azalea bushes actually don’t like fertilizer – they can be killed by too much fertilizing. They grow best in regular, small-packed soil – not too sandy and not too clay-like

The best time to prune azaleas is in the spring, before new flowers sprout

Many insects find azaleas a delicious treats. Everything from nematodes to spider mites to lace bugs will munch on your plants if not properly treated

There is an “Azalea Society of America” which was founded in 1979. It has chapters all across the US and seeks to spread news and information about the delicate plants

Azaleas need at least 3 hours of full sun each day, but temperatures above 86 degrees F for any sustained period of time can hamper their growth

There are literally thousands of named varieties of azaleas, most not available commercially. The most common blooms are white, pink, and purple

The azaleas surrounding the 16th and 13th holes at Augusta National are most commonly photographed during the tournament. Augusta National has no less than 30 full-time employees that work the grounds

If you have questions about whether or not azaleas will do well in your yard, contact a lawn care pro in your neighborhood. From Zone 7-9, azaleas fare well in a variety of climates and make a perfect addition to an otherwise bland landscape.