The Q&A Archives: Care of Sunrise Azalea (Aromi) in my area

Question: I purchased a Monrovia Sunrise Azalea (Aromi) from Fox Farm Nursery in my area 2 weeks ago.
PLEASE tell me how I can keep this plant alive and thriving!
I planted it on a sight with a slight decline (so that excess water will run off), amended the soil around the root ball with peat moss. In summer the plant will get sun from sunrise until about 1:00 pm, then it will be shaded by my house.

Answer: It sounds as though you've done everything right so I expect your new Sunrise Azalea should thrive in its new home. Because of their very shallow, fibrous root systems, azaleas and rhododendrons tend to dry out rapidly and will require watering during dry periods, especially during hot summer days. With this need for irrigation, a site with good drainage is a must. Poor drainage can result in root rot caused by many species of the fungus Phytophthora.

Azaleas and rhododendrons require an acid soil for best growth. If your soil is not acidic, the addition of acid peat, sulfur, or ferrous sulfate can lower the pH. A pH of 4.0 to 5.5 is optimum. Since you've already added peat to the planting area, you won't need to add more but you can mulch over the soil surface with additional peat moss. As it breaks down and you incorporate it into the soil, it will continue to help keep the soil on the acidic side.

Enjoy your new azalea!

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