The Q&A Archives: 1st time gardner

Question: i have never planted anything in my life and i bought this beautiful hardy azalea and a pink azalea. well i put them in the sun and water them when needed but they still seem to be dieing. the sales rep told me that i can keep them in the original pots that i bought them in with the same soil. to be honest i'm a little worried that i don't have the hand for this gardner stuff but i loved these plants. do you have some advice on how i can keep these plants alive. should i change there soil and pots or just move them out of the sun. by the way i live in new york and i don't have grass in my yard it is all cement. please help me, i really love these plants. thanks a bunch. look forward to hearing from you.

Answer: You might want to check the tags on your new azaleas. Most azaleas prefer shady conditions - even hardy azaleas like morning sun and afternoon shade. But, there are exceptions, so check the tag on your plant (or on the container). You should be able to keep your azaleas in the same nursery pots for another year or two but if you have it sitting on cement in full sunshine, the nursery pot can absorb heat and literally bake the roots. So, if you want to keep it in the nursery pot, you'll want to set the pot in a larger container and stuff some insulating material between the container and the nursery pot to help insulate the roots from excessive heat. Or, move the plant to an area where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade. This will help keep the roots from overheating. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Sometimes plants in containers develop air pockets around the roots and even though you think you're watering thoroughly, most of the water will simply pour out of the drainage holes. To make sure there are no air pockets in the soil you can immerse the pot in a larger container of water and let it set for 15-20 minutes. When no more air bubbles rise to the surface you can take the pot out of the container and allow it to drain. Do this every 2-3 weeks.

Aside from watering thoroughly and giving it a little afternoon shade, I don't think there's much else you need to do to ensure your azalea remains healthy.

Best wishes with your new plant!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"