Azalea planting and care

How to Plant and Care for Azaleas
Azaleas are some of the most popular specimen shrubs in the home landscape today. They are traditionally used as foundation plantings or along shrub borders.

‘Tradition’ Azalea
‘Tradition’ Azalea
The bright spring colors of azaleas always draw attention to a home landscape in spring. Once azaleas are established they are very hardy plants, but care should be given to choosing the best planting location, soil type and watering frequency, in order to get them off to a good start.
Lacebug damage
The most common insect pest appears to be lacebug, but these pests can be easily controlled with the proper timing of control applications.
Best planting locations for Azaleas
Eastern or northern exposures are usually best for azaleas, as opposed to the harsher wind and sun conditions found in western and southern exposures. Winter winds can easily desiccate evergreen azaleas, so make sure they have adequate soil moisture going into winter. Some homeowners construct “screens,” using landscape fabric or burlap nailed to wooden stakes, to protect their azaleas from the harsh effects of winter wind.
Herbert Azalea is very dependable
Herbert Azalea is very dependable
Best soil for Azaleas
While azaleas require regular watering to become properly established, you shouldn’t plant azaleas in poorly drained, wet areas in heavy clay soils. Enriching most garden soils with peat moss will help provide better growing conditions for your azalea. Mounding your planting area with a good topsoil-peat moss mix will often provide a solution to planting in problem areas.
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Watering Azaleas
Thorough weekly watering of azaleas in Northeastern US landscapes during dry spells will greatly enhance your chances of success. We have traditionally seen azaleas establish faster, and grow better, in regularly irrigated landscapes.
Rosebud azaleas have an awesome double flower
Rosebud azaleas have an awesome double flower
Azalea Culture
Fertilization – Soils that aren’t acidic enough may create problems with chlorosis — azalea leaves will be pale colored with dark green veins. Fertilizing chlorotic plants according to label instructions with Miracid may help.
Pests – The most common insect pest on azaleas in Pennsylvania is Lace Bug.
Trimming – Trim plants within a few weeks after they are finished blooming, otherwise you will remove next year’s flower buds.
Deer damage – Cover your azaleas with deer netting over the winter months to prevent browsing by whitetail deer.
MORE:
Think spring: Photos of Azaleas
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