Ask a Question forum: Is my azalea already doomed?

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Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
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CrazedHoosier
May 28, 2018 5:54 PM CST
Well, I got my azalea. It was stressed on-delivery, as I thought it would be. It wasn't the shipping because the hibiscus shrub that shipped with it, was fine. I think I may have killed it already. Is there any way to help? Is there any new growth, or am I doomed?

Also, the azalea is just 6 inches tall.
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Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 28, 2018 6:46 PM CST
Where there's green, there's hope. What did you do that you think you killed it?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 28, 2018 7:07 PM CST
nothing with green buds is ever doomed.

However- its all about how much time you're willing to wait for a branch here or there... azaleas are not pricey,
..... get a new one?

If you do want to save it, my tip would be to plant it in the ground- clear a space and leave it alone...
its a shrub it doesn't belong in a pot, and that will save you a lot of aggravation about drainage and soil mix
they tolerate moderate shade well- an east or north position, or where they get late day shade on the west or south side of the house - plant it in the ground, water it only when its very dry. over the winter leave it mulched well (fallen leaves are fine- just pile it up and uncover in spring) but you are looking at 2-3 years before you have even a basketball sized plant. I don't think it's worth making yourself nuts- put it in the ground and check on it in 2020
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 28, 2018 7:17 PM CST
My days of growing Azalea in the ground ended when I moved to the alkaline desert. I can't say they have suffered any. Azalea have small rooting systems so growing one in a pot actually works to your advantage: you can regulate exactly what soil goes in.
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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
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quercusnut
May 28, 2018 11:22 PM CST
Put it in a much smaller pot. Just big enough to accomodate whatever size root system it has now. Potting mix must be acidic and very free-draining. I agree with Daisy. You can keep an azalea in a pot indefinitely. Bonsai growers do.
Turbo's suggestion is a good one also.
[Last edited by quercusnut - May 28, 2018 11:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 29, 2018 6:24 AM CST
I can't see the entire container your Azalea is planted in but it may be too deep and too wide. Azaleas have shallow root systems and don't need really deep containers. I see leaves and buds so I don't think your plant is doomed.

@Daisyl that is one gorgeous Azalea! Lovey dubby
You should add that photo to the database; if you aren't sure of the exact species/cultivar, you can upload it to the general Azalea/Rhododendron entry here: Rhododendrons (Rhododendron)
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
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CrazedHoosier
May 29, 2018 8:01 AM CST
I honestly thought I had killed it just from doing basic care for a week. I had originally planned to put it in the ground when I got it, however, upon seeing it's size and slight stress on arrival, I decided to pot it. I did add soil acidifier, and it's in miracle-gro. I was going to make further soil amendments, but it started losing it's leaves, so I got concerned, and resorted to just planting it. I paired it with other plants that like to be on the moist side such as snow princess alyssum, dwarf dahlia, and spring onions. That being said, they are still all 10-24 inches from the azalea. The container it's in is 6.6 gallons. I thought azaleas were slow-growing? What am I doing wrong so far?
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 29, 2018 8:36 AM CST
How large was the root mass of your Azalea? That 6.6 gal size container looks quite large for such a small plant (in my opinion) and I don't know if it's a good idea to fertilize a new plant, especially one of a juvenile size. The soil from the nursery probably had the correct amount of nutrients to get it started and additional fertilizer will not help it grow faster.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 29, 2018 9:12 AM CST
Miracle-gro has a built in 6 month supply of fertilizer. Newly potted plants don't need fertilizer, stressed plants really don't and plants in containers don't use a lot. My azalea hasn't been fertilized for several years (I think its been in that pot for 7-8 years) but the potting soil is half Miracle-gro and half milled peat.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
Annuals Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Frogs and Toads Growing under artificial light Dog Lover
Houseplants Garden Procrastinator Aroids Tomato Heads Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers
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CrazedHoosier
May 29, 2018 9:15 AM CST
plantladylin said:How large was the root mass of your Azalea? That 6.6 gal size container looks quite large for such a small plant (in my opinion) and I don't know if it's a good idea to fertilize a new plant, especially one of a juvenile size. The soil from the nursery probably had the correct amount of nutrients to get it started and additional fertilizer will not help it grow faster.


If I am remembering correctly, the root mass matched the plant very well. It was very fiborous, immature, and not even completely taking the entire container. I didn't really fertilize directly. The soil acidifier may have had some extra nutrients, or the miracle-gro may have, but I have not directly and meaningfully fertilized it yet. Should I try other soil amendments? Peat moss?
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 29, 2018 9:17 AM CST
I hate to say this but you should have left it in the original container until it got used to living at your house. One big change at a time.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
Annuals Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Frogs and Toads Growing under artificial light Dog Lover
Houseplants Garden Procrastinator Aroids Tomato Heads Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers
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CrazedHoosier
May 29, 2018 9:18 AM CST
DaisyI said:Miracle-gro has a built in 6 month supply of fertilizer. Newly potted plants don't need fertilizer, stressed plants really don't and plants in containers don't use a lot. My azalea hasn't been fertilized for several years (I think its been in that pot for 7-8 years) but the potting soil is half Miracle-gro and half milled peat.


Oh wow, so maybe I should add some milled peat. I know this morning the azalea had produced new leaves. Could it just have been stress from being transported by USPS? I know just seeing them ship things makes me stressed.
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
Annuals Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Frogs and Toads Growing under artificial light Dog Lover
Houseplants Garden Procrastinator Aroids Tomato Heads Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers
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CrazedHoosier
May 29, 2018 9:20 AM CST
DaisyI said:I hate to say this but you should have left it in the original container until it got used to living at your house. One big change at a time.


Haha, I knew it would come down to something I did. I guess all I have left to do is sit and wait to see what happens, then.
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
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
May 29, 2018 12:46 PM CST
plantladylin said:
@Daisyl that is one gorgeous Azalea! Lovey dubby


I agree. It's awesome. Is it yours? If so I need detailed instructions on how you did it. Lovey dubby
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 29, 2018 1:04 PM CST
Detailed instructions: Find a pot you like, filll it with half milled peat and half potting soil, insert azalea, add drip line and ignore. It is sitting on the west side of the house but shaded by huge trees.

I may have to repot it this winter as the soil is beginning to resemble sludge.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 29, 2018 1:09 PM CST
I keep looking at that photo and it really is a beautiful plant ... makes me think I need to get a few miniature azaleas and pot them up! Smiling
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 29, 2018 1:18 PM CST
That's not a miniature - its in a 10 gallon pot. Smiling I do have a miniature (currently living with DD#1) that is grafted. The flowers are red and white. I'll see if she has a photo. Or I have a photo....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
May 29, 2018 1:52 PM CST
Oh, I should have worded that better ... I knew the one in your photo wasn't a miniature; it's just the smaller ones are more manageable for me. Smiling
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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
May 29, 2018 3:59 PM CST
Daisy, do you know the name? And have you ever pruned it at all?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 29, 2018 9:20 PM CST
No, I don't know the name. It is one that my husband's uncle gave me about 25 years ago. He was friends with a man who was grafting and hybridizing his own azaleas. And no, I have never pruned it.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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