The Q&A Archives: New Azalea Care/propagation

Question: I live in South Orange County, CA and have just
planted a 5 gallon pot of azaleas and similiarly cut several branches of other colors from a neighbor's plants and put them in the soil. Will azaleas grow from cuttings?

What fertilizer do you recommend? Should I worry about disease-control with azaleas?

Answer: Azaleas grow best in slightly acidic soil. I expect yours is in the alkaline range, (and you can test it just to make sure), so I'd suggest feeding with an acid-based fertilizer in the spring, and mulching around the root zone with peat moss. Azaleas can be propagated by cuttings, and by layering, a process where you bend a stem down to the ground, injure it slightly, anchor the wounded part of the stem in the soil, cover with additional soil, and water well. New roots will form at the site of the injury and you can cut the rooted stem from the parent plant and transplant it into a permanent spot in your garden.

Azaleas are relatively disease-free and pest-free, especially when given the right growing conditions.

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