The Q&A Archives: Concern For Alaska Azaleas

Question: I planted a few Alaska Azalea as hedges for my side yard about 3 months ago and a few days after I planted them they flowered for about 8 days then the floweres dried out and I haven't seen any growth in the plants. I water them everyday right before sunset. Why is it that I haven't seen any growth? It it normal?

Answer: I don't think anything is wrong with your plants; azaleas typically have a real spurt of growth in the spring, right after flowering is finished. Because yours were newly planted at that time, I suspect the plants were busy establishing their roots and simply redirected their energy into that rather than into new growth. As the heat of summer wears on, most plants will suspend active growth. But in the fall, when temperatures are cooler, they will begin growing again. You should see fresh new growth this coming spring, as well as some new flowers.

Azaleas appreciate deep soakings once or twice each week. Daily watering won't help them establish deep roots. Also, wet foliage overnight can invite fungal diseases. Try watering deeply once or twice each week and be careful to keep moisture off the foliage, especially in late afternoon or evening so the leaves will be dry by nightfall.

Good luck with your new plants.

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