Planting Azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Glenallen, VA
Question by farichar
June 2, 1998
I planted two azaleas, using a soil conditioner mixed with original dirt and they are not doing well. What should I do? I am new at this.


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Answer from NGA
June 2, 1998

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Many plant react to transplanting by going into shock. Their leaves may wilt and they may look puny, but given the right care they should snap out of it. You didn't mention what kind, or how much soil conditioner you used, but you may have over-done it. We recommend amending the soil prior to planting, but you should incorporate organic amendments into a large area, or the roots of plants will stay in the planting hole rather than growing outward and exploring the soil. Azaleas prefer a slightly acidic soil and peat moss would be an excellent organic amendment. When planting, make sure the plants are put into the ground so the soil level is the same as when it was growing in the pot. Tamp the soil down and then make a basin around the stem of the plant so when you water, you'll soak the entire root mass. Most shrubs will grow well when given about one inch of water per week. I'd just leave the azaleas alone at this point and water them thoroughly once a week until they perk up. Some azaleas will tolerate exposure to full sunshine and others like shady conditions so make sure your new plants are in the right part of the garden so they get the exposure they need. Good luck with your new plants!

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