The Q&A Archives: Low Maintence suggestions

Question: Azaleas have died and need to be replaced. Can you suggest LOW maintenance shrubs that will planted at the western side of the house's foundation? A shrub that is drought resistant would be appreciated. Although not neccessary, it is preferred that the shrub maintain its leaves throughout the year. The house is in Washington DC. Thanks-

Answer: Azaleas do not tolerate that type of hot afternoon sun location. I would suggest you try juniper or nandina or glossy abelia. For the first year while they are becoming rooted and established you should monitor the soil moisture and water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist (damp like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out.) You should also mulch over the root area with an organic mulch such as shredded bark or pine bark. Put down a flat layer and keep it about three inches thick year round, cover the root area but do not allow it to touch the stems/trunk of the plant. This will help keep the soil more evenly moist, help keep down weeds, and also feed the soil slowly as it breaks down over time.

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