How to Transplant & Move an Azalea Bush

Azalea bushes are beautiful and easy to care for acidic-loving plants. This plant has shallow roots and is best kept in moist acidic soil in order to keep its nutrients and stay oxygenated. 

Direct sunlight will harm the plant and limit its growth, while shaded areas and well-draining soil will keep the Azalea bush thriving. At some point you may find yourself needing to transplant to a new site. When doing so, it is important to note some important things first such as what helps the plant to go, and how to prepare the new site.

Caring for the Azalea is fairly easy, and transplanting the shallow roots is easy as well. As long as the plant is under the proper conditions, it will bloom and increase beautifully where it is planted. 

When To Transplant An Azalea Bush 

Azalea bushes are easy plants to care for, and they recover quickly when transplanted because of their shallow roots. 

If you’re dealing with a more mature plant, the process is the same but you’ll want to be more careful when moving the plant in order to minimize any damage to the roots.

The most important thing to do with an Azalea bush is to prune the roots at least a year before moving it. It is possible to have success when moving an Azalea that hasn’t had root-pruning, but it will recover more quickly if you’ve planned ahead and prepared the bush for transplanting. 

You’ll want to do some root-pruning so that after the plant is moved and planted elsewhere, it will have new growth in its new location. Its best to do the transplanting in early spring or fall, during the morning or afternoons of a cool day. 

Moving Your Azalea Bush 

Once you’ve root-pruned the Azalea, you’ll want to prune the top and back of the bush leaves by about one-third. This will encourage the direction and growth of the new leaves once its moved. 

Before you begin to move your Azalea bush, you will have to dig a hole for the new site. Its best to create a new site for the plant, and then dig it out of the ground so that it spends the least amount of time outside of the soil.

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Here are some steps to follow when moving your Azalea:

  • Pick a site that is partly shady, moist, and that has a slightly acidic pH.
  • Dig a 1 foot deep circular hole out from the trunk of your plant, the Azalea roots are shallow so you may not have to dig much deeper than 1 foot.
  • When you’ve dug and prepared your circular hole, use a shovel to lift the root ball out of the ground.
  • After lifting the plant out, you’ll have to keep the root ball moist and transplant it to the new site as soon as possible. 
  • Set the root ball in the new site and make sure to fill the soil to the same line it was in the old site.
  • Keep watering your plant daily until it gets established in its new site. Do not add fertilizer to the new site, this will decrease the plant’s risk of dying after being moved. 

You’ll want to keep your plant watered thoroughly and deeply in order to decrease the risk of dehydration and disease for your plant. The soil needs to be evenly moist, so it will not ever dry out nor be too wet. 

Growth and Care of your Azalea Bush 

1. Sunlight 

Azaleas are often shaded plants, with some variety of sunlight depending on the temperature. The plants are bloomers in the spring, and again in the fall. There is a variety that grow with staggering bloom times throughout the year. 

Long periods of full sunlight may cause the leaves to burn. Too much sun will also cause weaker growth and deprive the plant of oxygen if not watered properly. Some Azaleas keep their leaves year-round, while others may drop their leaves in the fall. 

2. PH

One thing to note about Azalea bushes is that they are acid-loving plants, and they need acidic soil with a pH range between 4 and 5.5. If the pH is higher, it causes nutrient deficiencies and yellowing of the leaves in your Azalea bush. 

3. Fertilizer

Fertilizer will also help keep the plants from being malnourished. Its best to fertilize in the spring for established plants. Avoid overfertilizing, since it will be detrimental to its short roots. 

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How to Transplant Move a Azalea Bush

4. Water and Planting 

This plant needs to be well-watered, needs to be aerated well, and needs to be in well-draining soil at all times to get oxygenated and prevent having to sit in a soggy ground. 

When planting, Azaleas have shallow roots and should not be planted too deep. Always keep the plant at the same level or higher than an original nursery pot.

5. Pruning 

Pruning is also something you may do to care for your plant. It is best to prune right after they finish blooming, and this will help new buds to form. 

Keeping Azaleas healthy is very important for helping the plant in blooming throughout the year. It is possible, and sometimes necessary to move the plant in order to maintain its health or to help it thrive better. 


Azalea bushes are fairly easy to care for when in the right conditions. This plant mostly blooms in the spring and fall with a staggering bloom. 

This acid-loving plant is fairly easy to transplant, under the right preparation and conditions. To move and transplant an Azalea bush, its best to prune the plant and its roots at least a year before to ensure it will continue its blooming and growth. 

When moving and transplanting, make sure to dig a hole first and choose a shaded area, and one with a variety sunlight. Direct sunlight is not a good choice because it will decrease the plants opportunity to stay oxygenated, in moist soil, and with a proper pH for nutrients. 

Once the plant is transplanted, the Azalea bush should be properly cared for and watered especially until it is acclimated in the new site. As long as it is kept under the right conditions, the beautiful Azalea bushes will bloom all throughout.

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