Cutting Azaleas: The easiest way for propagating Azaleas

grow an Azalea from a cutting

There are many methods for propagating Azalea to light up your landscape with vibrant flowers. And cutting Azaleas is one of the common ways most people use to create new Azaleas. Do you know any methods for cutting Azaleas? This article from includes everything you need to know to get started propagating Azalea from cuttings? 

Can you grow Azaleas from a cutting?

“Can you grow an Azalea from a cutting?” is a concern of gardeners who want to create a new Azalea. As long as you have evergreen Azaleas, growing Azaleas from cuttings takes time but is rather simple. You can use cuttings to propagate deciduous Azaleas, but the process is more difficult and should only be tried by experienced gardeners who are willing to experiment. 

Cuttings provide an exact genetic copy of the parent Azalea, which is not possible to do with a seed. Growing azaleas from seed is similar to having children in that they can resemble either parent or even a grandparent, and you never know which traits they will inherit. 

When is the best time for cutting Azaleas?

Choosing the proper time for cutting Azaleas will help gardeners easily conduct propagating processes and provide the appropriate conditions to grow. Early summer is the best time to take azalea cuttings. You should take your cuttings first thing in the morning if at all possible. 

When the fresh spring growth has hardened off but not fully, take evergreen Azalea cuttings. Keep an eye on them to figure out when your Azaleas are ready. 

Check the flexibility and color of the new growth to see if it’s ready to be trimmed. Bendable but not too rubbery cuts are ideal. That’s about correct if they can bend to 90 degrees without breaking. In most cases, the wood should be pale or green, not brown. 

In addition, you may take deciduous Azaleas earlier when the new growth is still quite green. This happens a lot throughout the blooming season. The cuttings should have a lot of flexibility. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of propagating from Azalea cutting

Cutting Azaleas is not only a kind of pruning, but it also provides a source of propagation materials. 

The first thing we should mention is the advantages of propagating Azaleas. Azalea stem cuttings have a number of benefits, including the preservation of species characteristics and the availability of several new parts. 

However, propagating Azaleas from stem cuttings has some drawbacks. Cuttings are cut from a three-year plant. If you take azalea that is too young for reproduction, cuttings wilt before rooting. If you take a more mature plant, the nutrients will not be enough, also negatively affecting the rooting. 

What are the necessary things of cutting Azaleas?

Before you begin cutting Azaleas, you need to determine what is required for proper preparation. 

  • First of all, shears or pruners are one of the most significant tools for cutting Azaleas. You will use them to take your cuttings, or you can use a knife instead.  
  • Another thing is a sharp knife or razor blade. You will use them to take your cuttings, or you can use a knife instead. 
  • For cutting Azaleas, you should select a healthy plant and make sure that the Azaleas have had plenty of water recently. 
  • Moreover, you also need bleach or fungicide/insecticide. You can use bleach to clean your containers, shears, knife, and cuttings, or fungicide and/or pesticide to treat the cuttings. It’s best to start with sanitary materials because you’ll be growing your cuttings in a wet environment with little airflow, which is ideal for mold growth. 
  • You need to prepare containers with drainage holes. You can use individual containers for each cut or combine several into one container. Because they don’t take up much room, a six-inch pot can keep around six cuttings, while a gallon flat may house ten or twelve. 
  • Sterile rooting medium is an important thing for growing Azalea roots. It has to let lots of oxygen in while also allowing water to drain. The most commonly recommended rooting medium is 50 percent sphagnum and 50 percent perlite or vermiculite.A little sand or pine bark can also be added to the mix.  
  • Besides, it’s clear plastic bags, storage containers, or bottles. By enclosing your cuttings in plastic, you’ll be constructing a mini-greenhouse for them.
Azalea cuttings

How to prepare for cutting Azaleas?

For cutting Azaleas effectively, you need to prepare carefully, such as preparing the soil to provide nutrients to grow flowers, and preparing the cutting. Let’s explore it. 

Prepare the Soil

In fact, soil plays an essential role in the planting and growth of plants. It’s an essential environment created to assist plants in receiving nutrients and water so they may develop and blossom.

Azaleas require a rich, well-draining soil, such as a half-peat, half-perlite mixture. Before filling the pot, moisten the soil thoroughly in a separate, clean container a day or two ahead of time and avoid pressing down on it to keep the soil light and airy. At the very least, the soil should be 4 to 6 inches deep. 

Prepare the Cutting

Follow the tips below for the best shot at a healthy, growing evergreen and deciduous Azalea cutting. 

You can make cuttings in the same way for deciduous, and evergreen Azaleas: 

Step 1: Choose the appropriate stems

Choose a 2- to 5-inch stem tip that is still green, bends rather than snaps, and is part of the season’s new growth. 

Step 2: Remove the stems

Make your cut just below a bulging node that would have grown a new stem if left on the plant. 

Here are some options for cutting Azaleas

  • Remove the outer bark from the cuttings’ lowest half-inch. 
  • Make one or two vertical slits through the bark and cambium into the inner wood at the bottom inch of the cutting.
  • Starting at the bottom edge of the cutting, remove the bark in a couple of half-inch vertical strips.
Make your cut slightly below a bulging node that, if left on the plant, would have developed a new stem
Make your cut slightly below a bulging node that, if left on the plant, would have developed a new stem

Carefully remove all of the lower leaves from the bottom third of the stem, being careful not to cut the stem, leaving around three leaves at the top.

Scrape 1/2 to 1 inch from the bottom of the stem, then soak it in water before applying rooting hormone.  

To avoid damaging the cuttings, don’t keep them in the hormone for too long. 

Because some liquid rooting hormones are too powerful to dip your cuttings in and may harm the plant, it’s recommended to use a powdered rooting hormone or dilute a concentrated liquid rooting hormone with water. 

the cutting
The cutting
Remove all of the leaves, except for those at the top end
Remove all of the leaves, except for those at the top end

Step 3: Clean for cutting Azaleas

Always clean your pruning shears or scissors with rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes after pruning or cutting to prevent diseases or pests from transferring from one plant to another. 

Cut the stem for propagation in the morning, when the plant is most hydrated. You should make sure to water your plant properly the day before. 

Clean your cuttings by rinsing them or soaking them in a 5 percent bleach solution for three minutes and then thoroughly washing them. This method can kill any insects or fungus on the cuttings. 

Alternatively, you can treat your cuttings with fungicide and/or insecticide. Depending on the product, you can spray or dip them. 

Step 4 : Prevent wilting for cutting Azaleas effectively

If you don’t have time to care for your Azaleas cuttings immediately, you can soak the ends of your cuttings in water, place them in a cooler, or store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Rinse the cut ends of the Azalea cuttings, brush off excess water, and place them in a plastic bag before refrigerating. Some gardeners believe that putting cuttings in the refrigerator first helps them root. 

How to propagate Azaleas from cuttings?

Propagating Azaleas from cuttings is one of the methods of propagation. With each type of Azaleas, you have to follow different steps to gain success. It’s time to root your Azalea bush cuttings in soil now that you’ve taken and prepared numerous. 

Evergreen Azalea Cuttings

Step 1: Prepare the containers

Fill your pots with wet rooting material, about five inches deep. Some gardeners advise preparing the pots and rooting media a few days ahead of time, as well as watering the soil many times to ensure it is well wet yet well-drained. 

Prepare the containers
Prepare the containers

Step 2: Stick the Azaleas cuttings

In the rooting medium, place your cuttings approximately one inch deep. Ensure that none of the leaves come into contact with the soil. 

If you’ve applied rooting hormone, especially powder, make a hole in the dirt for each cutting before placing it in. It’s best to use a big nail or a chopstick. The goal is to keep the rooting hormone from being brushed off as you push the cutting into the soil. 

If required, lightly press the earth around the cutting to help it stand.

Dip the cutting in rooting hormone
Dip the cutting in rooting hormone
Put the cutting in the pot and lightly press the earth around to help it stand
Put the cutting in the pot and lightly press the earth around to help it stand

Step 3: Water for Azalea cuttings 

Water the cuttings right away, but only enough to settle the soil around them because your rooting medium is already moist. 

Azalea cuttings
Azalea cuttings

Step 4: Cover Azalea with plastic

To maintain the moisture in your containers, cover them with plastic wrap. Place the containers in transparent plastic storage boxes or place them in clear plastic bags with the tops tied above the cuttings. Place the bag in warm and bright away from direct sun. Open bag every 10 days and spray some water.

Cutting the bottoms off of plastic jugs or bottles and covering the containers with them is another method. Make sure the leaves don’t touch the plastic, regardless of whatever choice you pick. 

Cover Azalea with plastic
Cover Azalea with plastic

Cutting Deciduous Azaleas 

Deciduous Azaleas 
Deciduous Azaleas

Deciduous Azaleas are more difficult to cultivate from cuttings than Evergreen Azaleas. It can be difficult to get them to root, and even after they do, it can be difficult to get them to create new growth.

You’ll need to follow all of the recommended practices for Evergreen Azalea cuttings, with a few exceptions, to have success with deciduous Azalea cuttings. 

Step 1: Choose the cuttings

Take cuttings from fresher growth than you would from an evergreen Azalea. They should remain somewhat green and adaptable. 

Step 2: Rooting hormone

You’ll almost certainly need to apply rooting hormone to encourage deciduous cuttings to root. While rooting hormone improves the odds of the cuttings rooting, cuttings without rooting hormone create new growth more quickly. You can do it anyway. 

This might be beneficial if you have a greenhouse where you can manage the temperature and water conditions. To stimulate root development, the recommended temperature for the rooting medium is about 75 degrees (heated from below).

A misting system is also a good option to maintain a high level of humidity. 

Step 3: Propagating Azaleas cuttings

Place the bottom third of each cutting in the soil and press it down slightly.

For four-inch pots, add one cutting; for six-inch containers, two cuttings; and for an eight-inch container, three or four cuttings.

Step 4: Fertilizer and sunlight

Once your deciduous Azalea cuttings have taken root, apply diluted fertilizer on a regular basis and allow them plenty of sunlight. It’s possible that you’ll need to utilize a grow light for up to 16 hours every day. Foliage growth is the goal of the fertilizer and light combination. 

Ongoing care after propagating from cuttings?

It’s now time to wait once you’ve followed the steps above. When it comes to caring for your new propagations, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Before Azaleas Root 

After cutting Azaleas, check your cuttings on a regular basis as you wait for them to root. You won’t need to water them very often, but if they become dry, do so. You’re more likely to have difficulties with too much moisture than not enough moisture as long as they aren’t completely dry.

If you notice mold growing, use a fungicide to destroy it. If any of your cuttings die, remove them to protect the others. 

After Azaleas Root

You may remove the plastic after your cuttings establish roots, but do so gently. Begin by just opening it and gradually removing it over many days.

You can start exposing the cuttings to direct sunlight at this time, but don’t do too much at once. To begin, give them some morning sun and work them up. 

Now that the cuttings have roots, it’s time to encourage them to create new growth. This requires a richer soil than the rooting medium. You can fertilize them or transfer them to a more nutrient-rich potting mix.

How to transfer your new propagations ?

Your cuttings may be removed and potted once they have rooted and become accustomed to being out of the plastic.  

In pots

To pot your cuttings, use any potting mix that is suitable for Azaleas and fill pots with lots of drainage holes. As long as you use fertilizer, a peat and perlite combination will suffice. Plant each cutting in a pot with care. 

You’ll have to wait until next year to put your cuttings outside since they won’t be able to endure a harsh winter. You may keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame during the winter if you have one. 

Pinch the tips of the branches (final buds) as your cuttings grow during the winter to stimulate fuller growth. 

transfer your plants in pots

In the garden 

Azalea cuttings can be planted in the spring or fall after passing the winter inside. If you’re planting in the spring, wait until after your final frost day, or let the new growth on your cuttings harden off before putting them outside. Plant them in the same manner as any other Azalea. 

If your propagations overwinter indoors, make sure to ease your new Azaleas into their new surroundings. Take these little plants outside for a few hours in the morning, then bring them back in before the day becomes too hot. 

Q & A

How long do Azalea cuttings take to root? 

Rooting time for cuttings might range from four weeks to four months. Six to 10 weeks is the most frequent period. You may start looking for roots after at least four weeks, but preferably eight. It’s not always the case that fresh growth indicates the development of roots.

Pulling the cuttings upward slightly to see whether there is resistance is one way to check. 

It’s important not to pull too hard since it only takes a little pressure to destroy small roots that are just starting to grow. Check for roots by carefully brushing soil away from the cuttings and checking them. 

How fast do azalea cuttings grow?

Evergreen azaleas require around 6 weeks to root, whereas large-leaf rhododendrons need 3 to 4 months. After the cuttings have rooted, pot or transplant them onto sterile flats made up of 60% milled sphagnum peat moss and 40% perlite. Use an acid-based azalea plant food like Peters once a month to fertilize. 

Final Thoughts

This article from has provided detailed information about cutting Azaleas and how to propagate them from stem cuttings. Once you get the proper methods and the right conditions, cutting Azaleas is a breeze. Good materials and technique are the keys to good Azaleas propagation. Thank you for reading! 

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