Saturday, March 17, 2012

Caring for Azaleas in your garden

Gorgeous pink AzaleasGorgeous pink Azaleas (Photo credit: dawnella66)

Azaleas can be a truly spectacular show of color in your landscape. While they aren't the most difficult plant to care for, they do have a few requirements that will ensure better results. There are very few yards in the south that don't have at least one Azalea. If you are a novice gardener, this shrub may be the one to try out. Inexpensive and usually easy to grow, it's an easy way to add beauty and color to your landscape.

  1. Research Azaleas before you buy. A little research can go a long way when it comes to investing in your landscape. Ask questions from your local nurseries and find out which variety you are most likely to have success with. 

  2. Plant Azaleas in a partially shaded location. Ideally it is best to plant Azaleas in early Spring or Fall. Azaleas do well in zones 6 through 8, however many have success in slightly cooler and warmer zones, when they apply more specific care to the shrub.

  3. Make sure dig a hole that is twice as large as the root ball of your Azalea.

  4. To ensure a good start, replace garden soil from your newly dug hole with Miracle grow garden soil mix specifically for all types of deciduous, evergreen, and flowering trees and shrubs. 

  5. Azaleas prefer an acidic soil with a ph level at about 5.5. Have your soil tested if you aren't sure.

  6. Once your Azalea is planted, be sure to give it a long deep drink of water. This eliminates air bubbles and settles the fresh soil. Water like this every day for about two weeks to help your Azalea settle into its new environment. 

  7. Add your mulch. Use fine shredded pine bark mulch, and/or pine straw around the base of your Azalea. Leave a little space between the base of the plant and the mulch. 
Bright red AzaleasBright red Azaleas (Photo credit: dawnella66)

Tip: Drive around your immediate neighborhood area and observe what results others are having with their Azaleas. If you see great results, take note of where the Azaleas are located. If you feel extra friendly stop and ask your neighbor what variety they are growing. Make sure to compliment their yard Most gardeners love the positive feedback for their efforts and don't mind sharing their advice with you.
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