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Azaleas thrive in well-draining, acidic soil. Before planting azaleas in your garden, ensure the soil has been treated with compost. When done planting, consider adding a top layer of pine straw or mulch to further enrich the soil and keep moisture levels high.
Examine your potted azalea about every six months to see if it has begun outgrowing the pot. Look for the fine roots. If they have started to circle at the bottom of the pot, it’s time to repot.
Not all plants can be propagated from cuttings, but azaleas are one of the plants that can!
Outdoor azaleas thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, notes Gardening Know How. Azaleas thrive when protected by shade in the afternoon and exposed to light in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Avoid selecting locations that will receive intense heat, direct light or total shade for the entire day.
Deadhead your azalea frequently to keep your plant looking its best. Removing spent blooms encourages new growth and keeps the plant from looking raggedy.
When you trim your azalea will depend upon the type you have. Some azaleas bloom on old wood (last year's growth) whereas other bloom on new wood (growth from the current year).
Although azaleas are a shrub, don't trim them in a formal manner. Straight edges or formal shapes often results in “spotty flowering and splotchy growth,” notes Gardening Know How. Trim branches that stick out outside of the natural shape. Don’t worry about finding a “connecting branch” or elbow area of the branch, azaleas are hearty and will grow back on new growth. Cut branches back one-third to one-half of the length.
Although azaleas are generally easy to care for and don’t normally have issues with pests or diseases, they can sometimes suffer from root rot, blight, or pests.
Root rot occurs when the plant has been watered too much or too often. Planting azaleas in a location with adequate sun, good drainage, and conserving water, and applying a layer of mulch will help reduce the likelihood of root rot.
Question: My outside azaleas are planted in groupings and had done quite well until about three years ago. Slowly, plant by plant, they began to yellow and after a couple of years died. The leaves get smaller with age, and they yellow and produce fewer or no flowers. What is the problem?
Answer: If you've already ruled out root rot, the most likely answer is a nematode infection. Consider collecting a soil sample from the affected area, and sending it to a local cooperative extension service for evaluation.
Visit http://npic.orst.edu/pest/countyext.htm for the contact info for the nearest local assistance.
© 2018 Diane Lockridge