The Q&A Archives: Growing Azaleas

Question: I just planted azeala bushes going up my side walk what can I do to help make them healthier and stay alive? I've always heard they are hard to care for I do not know if that is true or not, but some tips would be great!

Answer: Azaleas need a humusy soil with plenty of organic matter worked in. It should be evenly moist yet very well drained and never soggy. These plants are shallow rooted so need careful watering; a few inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark will help keep the soil moist and cool. It will also help feed the soil as it breaks down. Finally, they are not heavy feeders and don't usually grow very fast to begin with. Some types are dwarfs and grow only an inch or two a year even under the best of conditions. To some extent the growth rate you should expect will depend on the variety of azalea you have as well as their care and growing conditions. Good luck with your azaleas!

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