Florist Azaleas – Can I Plant It Outside?

Q: I received an azalea after the death of my father. The label says “Place in a cool location, avoiding excessively hot and cold areas.” Does this mean I can’t plant it outside?

A: In my experience florist azaleas are not as winter hardy as the regular Asian azaleas we see so commonly in spring. These gift plants have been bred for eye-catching flowers, not outdoor hardiness. It’s possible to plant a florist azalea in a large pot and then bring it in for winter after being on a patio for summer. With reasonable care it will bloom in the pot in spring.

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