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Can Azaleas Received as a Gift Be Planted Outside?

Can Azaleas Received as a Gift Be Planted Outside?

Posted by John Breeden on 29th Feb 2024

Florist azaleas (Rhododendron simsii), also known as indoor azaleas, are typically cultivated for their vibrant flowers and are commonly sold as potted plants for indoor decoration. While they can be planted outside in certain climates, they may not thrive as well as other varieties specifically bred for outdoor cultivation. 

Florist azaleas are often hybrids of various species and may not be as hardy as outdoor azalea varieties. They are generally more sensitive to temperature extremes and environmental conditions. In Virginia, you may be able to successfully plant florist azaleas outdoors, however they need to be acclimated to the weather. 

If you have a sunroom or mud room that is colder than your indoor temperature but warmer than the outside, place the azalea there for a few hours per day for a few weeks to see how it does. If it’s thriving, you can move it out for longer periods of time. Eventually you can plant it outside, but make sure there is no expected freeze for eight weeks while the azalea is acclimating. Once it receives proper care and protection from harsh weather conditions and watered properly, it’ll be properly acclimated for the next winter months.



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