Azalea Bush Does Not Bloom

Question From: G. Thomas - Tampa, Florida, United States
Q: I have an azalea bush that I fertilize with plant food made for azaleas, at the time and amount recommended. It looks quite healthy. But it has yet to bloom, in two seasons that I have had it. The shrub is small, about 2 1/2" high, and I have not pruned it (why? no blooms...) It gets some direct sunlight, mostly dappled sunlight. The flowers are orange color but I forget what specific type it is. My shrub is planted in the bed that is beside my house and near by are Snow on the Mountains and a pineapple plant that are doing famously. I'm mystified why my azalea is not blooming.

A: Azaleas need several weeks of night-time temps below 50 degrees in order to bloom. Lack of sun, too much nitrogen or not enough water may also be issues.If you bought it in a grocery store it may not be the type that will do well as an outdoor plant. Talk to the shrub person at your local independent garden center ( not a big box) about other issues. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.

Comment: I would never buy any plant from a grocery store. My Azalea came from Home Depot, and though I live in Florida, we've had plenty of successive nights in the 50s over the winter. Everyone else's bloomed in February. I do fertilize it, but as recommended. I also understand azaleas are not happy with a lot of direct sun. In this area, getting hit with a lot of hours of direct sun can fry a plant. It gets some direct sun in the morning. I think either something is deficient in the soil, but even when I sprayed it with plant bloomer -- middle number the highest -- it still didn't even make buds. and yes, this was a real long time to get an answer. we are n ow almost into summer, it's a moot point. I will never buy another azalea.

Response: Gina. Gardening in Florida is not the same as gardening in Michigan. I have given you the best advice I have to offer. The plant did not develop flower buds. I wrote that this plant needs temperatures UNDER 50 degrees at night. Your response indicates the opposite. Here is a website that might help you
orry for your frustration. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.