Growing Azaleas In Colorado - Knowledgebase Question

Conifer, CO
Question by ljmax
November 29, 1999
How to grow azaleas in colorado. Received 4 upon death of my mother and would like to take care of them properly.

Answer from NGA
November 29, 1999


You did not mention whether the plants were from another part of the country, already growing in Colorado, you were transplanting them, or they were in containers. There are hundreds of species of azaleas and most are not hardy in Colorados winters although there are exceptions. If possible, find out what species/hybrids you have. (Send another email to the Q&A, not my email address, with the species and I may be able to tell you its temperature rating.) If they are not hardy, plant them in containers, so you can move them indoors in the winter. Azaleas prefer moist acidic soil, humid air, and filtered shade, conditions that are not commonly found in much of the West. They also don't care much for clay soil. And, much of the West has alkaline, clay soil. If you plant them outdoors, try them in raised beds, in soil that you have heavily amended with organic matter, including peat moss, to lower the pH (make it more acidic) and improve drainage. Choose a spot that will give them morning sun, but protection from the hot afternoon sun. Use a fertilizer especially formulated for azaleas. I hope this info helps.

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