Japanese azalea is hardy - be careful not to mix it up!

Japanese azalea is hardy - be careful not to mix it up!

Garden Azalea vs. Room azalea

But be careful when buying, because if it says 'Azalea' it doesn't necessarily mean a Japanese azalea. A rough distinction is made between hardy garden azaleas (the Japanese azalea) and non-hardy indoor azaleas. The latter come from the subtropics and tropics of Southeast Asia and would not survive a German winter. They are pure house plants. Please pay attention to the following designations:

  • Japanese azalea
  • Garden azalea
  • Rhododendron japonicum
  • Azalea mollis

also read

  • Hibernating Japanese azaleas properly
  • Japanese azalea begins flowering in late spring
  • Japanese azalea - location, plants, propagation

Here you can access it without worries, because it is always the hardy variant. However, if only 'Azalea' is on the label, it is mostly indoor azaleas.

Japanese azalea - winter protection necessary or not?

Japanese azaleas usually don't need winter protection unless it is

  • they are very young plants.
  • the winter is very cold, but without snow (bald frost).
  • the ground is frozen (roots can no longer absorb water).

In these cases you can cover the root area with reed mats or similar. In addition, you should definitely use frost-free days to water the plant. Prolonged ground frost sometimes means that the shallow root can no longer absorb moisture and simply dries up.

Hibernate the pot azalea properly

Since the Japanese azalea rarely grows higher than two meters and can also be kept in check by pruning, it is often cultivated in pots. Of course, tub azaleas are also hardy, but different rules apply to them with regard to wintering. Since the roots, due to the planter and the small amount of soil, have nothing to oppose the frosty outside temperatures, you have to provide the necessary protection. To do this, place the vessel on a base made of styrofoam or wood and wrap the tub with reed mats or fleece. A protective stand near a heat-emitting wall is also useful.


Before the spring shoots, check the plants for possible frost damage - this applies especially to the evergreen varieties of the Japanese azalea. Don't be surprised at curled leaves, this will cause the plant to protect itself from excessive moisture loss through evaporation.