The Q&A Archives: Azalya bush

Question: I recently bought/planted an Azalya (spelling) bush. It doesn't look all that healthy anymore.. mind you, it went without watering for 1 day. Will a little Miracle Grow perk it back to life???? Please help. Thank you.

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what is happening to your plant but here are some pointers to help you troubleshoot. (Please do not fertilize a stressed plant, the impetus to grow adds yet more stress.) When planting azaleas, it is important to plant them into acidic soil that is humusy and organic and evenly moist yet well drained. This means it should be kept moist like a damp sponge, never sopping wet and not dried out. Also use a layer of organic mulch such as pine fines about two inches thick over the root area year round. This helps reduce the need for watering and helps feed the soil slowly as it breaks down. Use your finger to tell if you need to water, dig into the soil and if it is still damp do not water yet. Azaleas should be planted in a location with morning sun or bright dappled light all day, not in hot afternoon sun. Finally, be sure it is not planted too deeply. Azaleas are shallow rooted and are sensitive to planting depth. It should be no deeper, and maybe a half inch higher, than it grew in the container. I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

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