Azaleas are the beauty of the spring and they are easy to grow acid-loving flowers. You can easily add a new dimension to your home and garden with the pink, red, violet, and orange blooms of azaleas.
For doing that, you should apply the right fertilizer to thrive and blooms of the azaleas. Without feeding the right fertilizer in the right amount, azaleas won’t produce blooms and they become more prone to diseases.
Now the question; what’s the best fertilizer for azaleas?
The specially formulated fertilizer for the acid-loving plants that contains a balanced NPK ratio, less amount of urea nitrogen, and some other macro and micronutrients.
For your convenience, here I have listed and reviewed the best fertilizer for azaleas. I hope it can help you to pick the right fertilizer for your azaleas.
In A Hurry? Here is the overall best fertilizer for azaleas that you can pick right now-
Best Fertilizer for Azaleas-Comparisons
|Jobe’s Organics 9826 Fertilizer||5-4-3||Granular||Organic|
|Dr. Earth 703P Acid Fertilizer||3-4-3||Granular||Organic|
|Jobe's Azalea Fertilizer Spikes||9-8-7||Spike||Synthetic|
|Jobe’s Organics (08281) Fertilizer||6-1-1||Powdered||Organic|
|Espoma Holly Tone Organic Fertilizer||4-3-4||Granular||Organic|
|Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Fertilizer||30-10-10||Powdered||Synthetic|
|Down To Earth Acid Mix Fertilizer||4-3-6||Granular||Organic|
Best Fertilizer for Azaleas-Reviews
1.Jobe’s Organics 9826 Fertilizer
Are you looking for the best organic fertilizer for azaleas? Here is the Jobe’s Organics 9826 Fertilizer that is the OMRI and USDA listed organic product for organic gardeners. It is specially formulated for rhododendron, azalea, camellia, and some other acid-loving plants.
According to the NPK ratio, it contains 5% nitrogen,4% phosphorus, and 3% potash and it has 3.9% water-insoluble and 1.1% water-soluble nitrogen out of total nitrogen.
You will be happy to know;
Water-soluble nitrogen releases quickly and feeds the most hungry plant instantly. In contrast, the water-insoluble nitrogen releases slowly and feeds the plants continuously without the risk of burn or damage. Moreover, it has no urea nitrogen.
Besides NPK, it also contains 7% calcium,0.5% magnesium,and 1% sulfur. It contains some micronutrients because it is rich in organic ingredients, though the manufacturer didn’t mention the ratio.
All the nutrients of this fertilizer are formulated from feather meal, bone meal, poultry meal, and sulfate of potash that is completely safe for your azaleas and health.
The best part of this fertilizer-
It has a Biozome formula. Biozome is a natural blend of healthy and beneficial soil bacteria, Mycorrhizal fungi, and Archaea that improves soil structure, root growth, and makes the plant disease, insect, and stress-resistant.
To feed this organic fertilizer-
Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of granular fertilizer per foot plant spread or 16 inches diameter pot. Work gently on the surface soil and water the plant. Repeat the application after 4-6 weeks for healthy azaleas with beautiful blooms.
2.Dr. Earth 703P Organic Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Acid Fertilizer
Dr. Earth 703p is another best organic fertilizer for azaleas that is specially formulated for some acid-loving plants including azalea, camellia, hydrangea, rhododendron, and holly. Let’s analyze this fertilizer-
It has 3% nitrogen,4% phosphate, and 3% potash.From the NPK ratio, it has a higher amount of phosphate and you know phosphate is the primary nutrient for promoting healthy and robust blooms. So, this high phosphorus organic fertilizer helps your azaleas to rebloom.
And good news; the total amount of nitrogen has been coated for slow release and it has no urea nitrogen. So, you don’t need to worry about improper fertilization, if you feed this continuous release fertilizer.
Also, this fertilizer is fortified with feather meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, kelp meal, and kelp flour. All are natural sources of macro and micronutrients and it has no chemical compound that is certified by OMRI.
The most likable feature of this fertilizer;
It has a probiotic formula. That means it contains a natural blend of healthy bacteria with ecto and endo mycorrhizae. It can improve the soil structure and help to make your azaleas healthy and resistant.
Also, it has 11% humic acid to protect the plant from different kinds of environmental stress such as water and heat stress.
It comes with the slow release granules and to feed this granular fertilizer to your established azaleas-
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons per gallon of potting mix or 2 cups per inch of trunk diameter. Mix gently with the surface soil, water the plant, and reapply after 2 months.
3.Jobe’s Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Fertilizer Spikes
Are you looking for the best spike fertilizer for azaleas? Here is the Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes that is the best fertilizer for azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and some other acid-loving plants.
As the primary plant food, it contains 9% nitrogen,8% phosphate, and 7% potash for dark green leaves, healthy roots, and long-lasting blooms.
You will be happy to know; it has no urea nitrogen, the total amount of nitrogen is ammoniacal nitrogen. Ammoniacal nitrogen helps the soil to reduce pH and feed the plant more gently than urea.
According to the expert, It is the best slow-release fertilizer for azaleas. Want to know why?
You know other slow-release fertilizer contains slow-release nitrogen only but this fertilizer contains 4% slow-release nitrogen,3% slow-release potassium, and 3% slow-release potash for feeding your plant up to 8 weeks.
Another benefit of the spike fertilizer is; it has a lower chance to run off with surface water and no need to pre-measured.
Take a spike per foot of plant diameter and simply push into the soil near the stem of azalea. Apply water thoroughly and repeat the application after 1-2 months.
4.Jobe’s Organics (08281) Holly, Azalea & Rhododendron Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plants
Here is the best water-soluble fertilizer for azaleas from Jobes’s Organics. It is also formulated for acid-loving plants such as azalea, hydrangea, holly, camellia, rhododendron, etc.
According to the granular analysis, it has 6% nitrogen,1% phosphate, and 1% potash. What are you thinking? About the NPK ratio? Does it seem poor in comparison to other water-soluble fertilizers?
But it is not poor in NPK actually. Let me explain, generally, water-soluble fertilizer releases nutrients quickly, feeds instantly, and even runs off with water quickly.
But good news, a small portion of this fertilizer is coated for slow release. As a result, it can feed continuously without washing out, and also it has quick-release nutrients for instant feeding.
It comes with the water-soluble powder that is formulated from some organic ingredients such as soy protein hydrolysate, kelp, soft rock phosphate, and sulfate of potash.
All the natural and organic ingredients are the sources of essential plant nutrients and growth stimulators.
It has Jobe’s special Biozome formula. Biozome is a natural and healthy blend of beneficial bacteria, Mycorrhizal fungi, and Archaea that improves the soil health, plant growth, and makes the plant disease and stress-resistant.
To get the healthy azalea-
Mix 1 scoop (1 tablespoon) per gallon of water and spray the solution on the foliage and soil. Feed every 7-14 days for more blooms.
5.Espoma HT18 Holly Tone Fertilizer
Espoma HT18 Holly Tone Fertilizer is the specially formulated fertilizer for acid-loving plants including azaleas, amaryllis, andromeda, camellia, bayberry, blueberry, hemlock, holly, plumeria, and hydrangea.
This Holly tone fertilizer contains 4% nitrogen,3% phosphate, and 4% potash. Good news; it has 2.5% water-insoluble nitrogen that dissolves with water slowly and feeds your plant continuously. Also, it has water-soluble nutrients for instant feeding.
Moreover, it also contains 3% calcium,1% magnesium,5% sulfur, and other essential plant nutrients to promote robust and healthy blooms of azaleas.
All the nutrients of the holly tone are derived from some organic and natural ingredients such as feather meal, alfalfa meal, bone meal, poultry manure, greensand, sulfate of potash, and elemental sulfur. As you saw, it is free from the toxic chemical that is also certified by OMRI.
The best part of this fertilizer is-
It has a Bio-tone Microbes formula that means it contains some beneficial soil microbes as non-plant food that improves soil health and makes the plants more resistant. Also, it has 1% humic acid to revive the plant from environmental stress.
So pick this best fertilizer for azaleas including old azaleas and encore azaleas. Sprinkle 1 cup per foot of branch spread for in-ground azalea bush and 1 tablespoon per 3 inches pots and water thoroughly.
6.Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Plant Food
Another best water soluble fertilizer for azaleas from Miracle-Gro. This fertilizer is also made for acid-loving plants including azalea, camellia, rhododendron.
It contains 30% nitrogen,10% phosphate, and 10% potash to promote lush green leaves, healthy roots, and colorful blooms.
Sad but true.it contains higher amounts of urea nitrogen(27%) and you know urea nitrogen can feed the plant more aggressively. So too much-feeding urea nitrogen can be the cause of leaves burning.
But this the Miracle -Grow and they have been producing gardening products for almost 152 years and also they claim that it won’t damage the plant. Therefore, you should strictly follow the label direction to avoid overfeeding.
Moreover,it has 0.02% boron,0.07% copper,0.325% iron,0.05% manganese,0.07% zinc and 0.0005% molybdenum to promote more and robust flowers.
The best part of this fertilizer-
Most of the micronutrients are available in chelated form. That means they have a coat to protect them from different types of soil reaction and remain them always available for plants.
It comes in a water-soluble form that can feed your most hungry plant instantly. So, to get the quick result-
Measure 1 tablespoon fertilizer for outdoor azaleas and ½ teaspoon for indoor azaleas. Mix the pre-measured fertilizer into a gallon of water and feed the solution to your azaleas once per 7-14 days.
7.Down To Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer
Down To Earth is the OMRI listed organic fertilizer for all acid-loving plants including azaleas, hydrangea, rhododendron, camellia, evergreen, and berry.
As the plant food,it has 4% nitrogen,3% phosphate, 6% potash,3% calcium,2% magnesium and 2% sulfur.Like all other slow-release fertilizer, it also contains 0.4% water-soluble 3.6% water-insoluble nitrogen and you know, water-soluble nitrogen feeds the plant instantly and water-insoluble nitrogen feeds continuously.
And this acid mix fertilizer is made from some natural ingredients such as cottonseed meal, fishbone meal, langbeinite, rock phosphate, and kelp meal.
Moreover, this fertilizer is fortified with some beneficial soil microbes that promote the soil and plant health and protect the plant from diseases and insects. Also, it has 2.5% humic acids to revive the plant from stress.
To feed this fertilizer-
Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons per gallon of potting mix or 1 cup for an established azalea plant. Work on the surface soil gently and water the plant thoroughly.
When to Fertilize Azaleas?
Azaleas need fertilizer during the growing season. So, start feeding the fertilizer in the spring and stop feeding a week before the frost comes. Don’t apply fertilizer at the frost season because it can damage the new growth of the plants.
How Often to Fertilize Azaleas?
The Azalea fertilization schedule may vary depending on the type of fertilizer. If you choose slow-release fertilizer to apply, then you don’t need to apply fertilizer frequently. But if you pick the water-soluble or quick-release fertilizer, then you must need to apply fertilizer more frequently to get a better result.
Generally,slow-release fertilizer applies on the azaleas once in a month and water-soluble fertilizer once per 7-14 days. The best idea is to read the label of the fertilizer and follow their instructions carefully.
How to Fertilize Azaleas?
Want to know the best way to apply fertilizer on azaleas? Here is the step by step guide for you-
Step 1: Pick the Best Plant for Your Azaleas
You should pick organic or synthetic fertilizer from a reputable brand. Azaleas love both organic or inorganic fertilizer but remember; the fertilizer hasn’t any toxic chemicals that can damage the plants.
Step 2: Choose the Best Time to Fertilize the Azaleas
Morning and evening is the best time to fertilize azaleas as well as other plants. Because the weather remains cool and calm at that time. You can also apply fertilizer when the weather is not too hot. But never apply outdoor azaleas if there is any chance of recent rain.
Step 4: Measure and Prepare a Solution for Azaleas
Measure the fertilizer by following the label dosage of fertilizer and prepare a solution if the fertilizer is water-soluble. You don’t need to prepare a solution if you pick the water-insoluble granular and spike fertilizer.
Step 5: Feed the Fertilizer
Water-soluble fertilizer: Apply the pre-mixed fertilizer solution on the azaleas. Soak the foliage, if the fertilizer is safe for foliar. See the label of your fertilizer to know about that.
Granular fertilizer: Sprinkle pre-measured granular fertilizer around the base of the plant and water thoroughly.
Spike fertilizer: Simply push the one or more spike according to the plant diameter into 1-2 inches soil near the stems of your azaleas plant and pour water on the plant.
Best Homemade Fertilizer for Azaleas
- Epsom Salt (Magnesium)
- Eggshells (Calcium)
- Coffee Grounds(Nitrogen)
- Banana Peels (Potassium)
- White Vinegar(Decrease soil pH)
- Watering can
- Cut the banana peels with a knife or scissors into small pieces.
- Dry the pieces of banana peels and eggshells in the sun.
- After drying, grind the dried banana peels and eggshells.
- Mix 1 cup of the crushed eggshells, 1 cup of crushed banana peel, and 1 cup of coffee grounds.
- Sprinkle ½ – 1 cup of the mixture around the base of your azaleas.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and Epsom salt into a gallon of water.
- Pour the water on the base of the plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
#Can you fertilize azaleas while they are blooming?
Plants only need fertilizer when they are in an active growing stage and it’s true, the plant doesn’t need extra fertilizer while they are in the blooming stage. You can feed your bloom booster fertilizer to your azaleas during the flowering stage. Make sure the fertilizer has a lower amount of nitrogen and a higher amount of phosphorus.
Also, you should feed during the flowering stage if the plants show any deficiency sign like interveinal chlorosis(iron or magnesium deficiency)
#Is Epsom salt good for azaleas?
Epsom salt is the natural source of magnesium and magnesium is the essential plant nutrient that can protect the plant from interveinal chlorosis. Also, it helps the soil to increase the soil acidity and you know acidic soil is good for azaleas to thrive and bloom.
#Are coffee grounds good for azalea bushes?
Coffee grounds feed nitrogen to the azaleas and nitrogen is the essential plant nutrient to prevent the leaves from turning red and yellow. Also, it helps the soil to increase acidity.
But too much nitrogen only promotes the growth of leaves without blooms. Take that into consideration before applying too much coffee grounds
#Are eggshells good for azaleas?
Eggshells feed calcium to the azaleas and you know calcium is the essential nutrient to promote new cells and root tips. But too much calcium increases soil alkalinity and you know azaleas love acidic environments.
Many gardeners claim that azaleas can swipe the color like hydrangeas according to the soil pH and some claim it doesn’t happen for pH. I don’t want to argue. I just want to know you 5.5.- 6 is the best pH range for azaleas.
Take your pH meter and measure the pH. If the soil pH is high, add acidifier and if the pH is lower than the optimum range, add garden lime to balance the pH.
Now feed the best fertilizer for azaleas and get a healthy plant with lots of blooms.