Ask a Question forum: Mulch for Azalea

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Highland, NY
Jay4566
Apr 9, 2018 10:43 AM CST
I just transplanted my Azeala last fall and now that it is spring, I am wondering which mulch would be good for the her. I used red wood chips and she seemed to do fine. However during the winter, she lost almost all of her leaves expect for the top. The leaves are dark colored and small. Harsh winter maybe? I checked on her again and now she has buds on some of her stems and she seemed a little greener. What mulch would be best? Should I fertilize her now or wait until after she flowers? Any growing and pruning tips on azealas would be very helpful. She's a big plant (5ft+?) that has been around for many years (let's say 10+). My neighbors ripped her out and I rescued her and replanted her. Thank you for reading.
[Last edited by Jay4566 - Apr 9, 2018 10:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
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quercusnut
Apr 9, 2018 10:09 PM CST
I can tell you what I mulch with and I will probably get some blowback. I have been trying to grow ericaceous plants for years now with hit and miss success. It wasn't until I started mulching them with plain peat moss that I am finally having much better results. Yes, if you let peat moss dry completely out it is very hard to rewet it. But I don't let areas with these types of plants dry out completely anyway. I put down about a 2 inch layer and bring that out to at least a foot, usually more, past the dripline.
Another advantage to this is you can peg down some outer branches and they will root into the moss making a fuller plant.
YMMV.
Highland, NY
Jay4566
Apr 10, 2018 11:07 AM CST
Thank you. So you don't use any mulch? Just the past moss?
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Image
quercusnut
Apr 10, 2018 11:14 PM CST
The moss IS the mulch.

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