azalea purchase - Knowledgebase Question

Newcastle, CA
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Question by aleo213
May 28, 2006
My daughters purchased two Phoenicia Azalea Pation Trees from Monrovia, for me for Mother's Day. Sold at a local Nursery. I planted them in large pots, also purchased at that nursery. I placed them in my yard, with part shade and full afternoon sun (about 2 hours a day). Immediately, one looked awful, within a week they both looked poorly with one of them worse than the other. Flowers dried up really quickly. Is this normal?? I used good potting soil and have followed your watering advice. I am fairly upset, these being very expensive plants and gifts from my children. I have removed all of the dried up flowers and I am hoping they recover. I loved the beautiful blooms when I received the plants, HELP!!!! Kathleen Clark

Answer from NGA
May 28, 2006
I think your azaleas are acting naturally. Azaleas generally come into bloom about Mother's Day, but the flowers last only a few weeks. Yours may have been blooming for several days before they were purchased which is why the flowers have aged so quickly. Also, repotting while they were in bloom probably stressed them to the point where they abandoned their flowers in favor of getting their roots established. Removing the spent flowers was a good idea in terms of helping your plants look more attractive.

Phoenicia azaleas prefer afternoon shade and will droop if sunlight is too intense. I'd place them where they receive a few hours of morning sun and then shade or at least dappled shade in the afternoon.

I suspect your plants will soon recover and their vitality will return. Next spring, around Mother's Day, they should reward you with lots of lovely blossoms. Enjoy!

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