The 5 Best Fertilizers for Azaleas

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Not all fertilizers are created equal. The difference between the best fertilizers out there and average fertilizers is drastic. Don’t make the mistake of choosing an incorrect fertilizer and finding out way too late. It can mean the difference between a bountiful bloom and only several flowers.

It’s an all too familiar story – you apply fertilizer to your azalea only to realize weeks later that your azaleas is malnourished or not growing properly. By that time, it is too late to start afresh or you’ve wasted a lot of your time. Avoid the need to constantly test out different fertilizers on the market with one of the best fertilizers for azaleas in my list below.

Comparison Table of Our Top Recommendations

Fertilizers for azaleas
Beautiful, healthy azaleas


These are the best fertilizers for Azaleas. They use quality ingredients and are much better than the other fertilizers on the market. Please keep reading below to learn more about each one. 

Beautiful azaleas

Product Reviews

Epsoma Holly-Tone

Epsoma Holly-Tone features a formula of 15 nutrients specifically designed for plants that need a low soil pH. The fertilizer helps to nourish plants while also adding organic material and microbes back into the soil. This ensures that plants grow stronger and healthier. Plants will also be able to produce larger, more colorful blooms. In addition, this fertilizer is low in salts, so it is gentle enough to help establish plants and will not burn new growth. The formula is environmentally friendly and contains no toxic or harmful ingredients.

Miracle Gro Miracid Acid Loving Plant Food

As soon as Miracle Gro’s Miracid Acid Loving Plant Food is used, it begins to provide essential nutrients immediately. This fertilizer is specifically designed to provide essential nutrients to plants, such as azaleas, that prefer high acid levels in the soil. This plant food delivers nutrients that encourage growth in both the leaves and the roots, so plants are greener and more lush but also develop stronger root systems and are therefore healthier overall. Gardeners who use this fertilizer will also find that their plants produce larger blooms more quickly.

J R Peters Jacks Classic Acid Special Fertilizer

For plant food specifically designed to nourish shrubs such as azaleas, which prefer a high acid content, J R Peters Jacks Classic Acid Special Fertilizer is a perfect choice. The special nutrient blend helps to boost iron and sulfur, which azaleas thrive on. Plants that have been treated with this fertilizer are often fuller with much greener leaves. In addition, plants often produce brighter, larger blooms.

Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix

Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix helps plants grow stronger roots for overall healthier, fuller plants. The formula is specifically designed for plants such as azaleas that prefer high acid to better take in nutrients in the soil through its roots. The ingredients in this fertilizer formula help to keep the pH level of the soil low so that plants can thrive. Best of all, this fertilizer is natural and organic, and even the box can be composted.

Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes are premeasured so that they are simple and clean to use. These spikes can be inserted into the soil around the plant. They will then deliver a continuous supply of nutrients all season. In order for plants to receive the correct amount of nutrients at the most crucial time, insert the spikes between late spring and early summer. Nutrients will go directly from the spike to the plant’s roots, so gardeners who use Jobe’s will find that their plants are hardier and grow fuller leaves and more colorful blooms.

Fertilizers for azaleas2

Simple Care Guide for Azaleas

Springtime would not be the same without azaleas. Azaleas help to usher a hospitable atmosphere and bring vibrant colors to any garden. The flowers are not only attractive, they are also fragrant. This perennial shrub should be easy to raise with the proper care and fertilization.

Shade-loving Plants

Make sure to plant your azaleas in well-draining soil and preferably in an area that is partially shaded. Azaleas can survive in full sun, but they have shallow root systems so in full sun, the top soil will dry out quicker making the azalea prone to water stress. You will set yourself up for success by finding an area that is partially shaded. If you do plant in full sun, you will just have to be careful to water more frequently.

Proper Fertilization

Azaleas have shallow root systems. These shallow root systems unfortunately make azaleas prone to nutrient deficiencies because when the top soil dries out, so does the plant. If your azaleas start developing yellowish leaves or small new leaves then these are signs of nutrient deficiency (particularly nitrogen deficiency). Azaleas do best with fertilizers with an N-P-K ratio of 1-1-1 (balanced N-P-K ratio), although using fertilizers with N-P-K ratio with slightly higher nitrogen components are also fine as nitrogen is usually the nutrient that azaleas become deficient in. They also prefer soil that is slightly more acidic as this helps them take up nutrients through their roots. Make sure not to over fertilize azaleas. Generally you will want to fertilize during early spring and late winter. Try to fertilize them when they are in bloom or just after a bloom.

Best Fertilizers for Azaleas

Water Frequently

While azaleas do best in well draining soiling, they also need sufficient water, particularly since their root systems are so shallow. Try to keep azalea soil evenly moist – do not let it try out completely, but also do not let it stay overly wet. Azaleas that are kept out in full sun will generally need more watering that azaleas planted in shaded areas. You can check when it needs water by checking the soil around your azalea with your hand. Check frequently for a couple days in different weather conditions so you get an idea of how frequent you need to water. You can consider using a soaker hose to water the soil so that water does not hit the plant leaves (water left on the plant leaves over an extended period of time can encourage fungal diseases). Also water early in the day so that the sun can dry the leaves.

No Need to Over Prune

Azaleas tend to need little to no pruning. If you decide that you want to prune, make sure you prune after they are finished blooming. The flower buds are very small and are susceptible to being accidentally pruned, which will leave your without many flowers during the next bloom season.

Bottom Line

Again, I recommend buying Epsoma Holly-Tone. Don’t make the mistake of buying any average fertilizer at your local gardening store. Many of them will simply not produce the same results. You cannot go wrong with any of the fertilizers above. 

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About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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