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Tips For Planting Azaleas Perfectly

Aug 17, 2007
Azaleas are a flowering plant with a lot of panache. They put off an impressive show, and if done right, will continue to do so for years to come. However, like any plant, you need to give them a good start for good results. Planting them in the proper spot, giving them the right amount of water and food and providing the appropriate maintenance will help you have perfect azaleas. Following is a guide to ensuring the success of this beautiful flowering shrub.

Most azaleas are store bought. When choosing the azalea in the store, be sure to choose a plant that has green leaves and lots of flower buds. If the plant is at all weepy or the leaves are limp, this plant will probably not do well and may be diseased. A good choice will produce a rewarding plant.

When you are ready to plant your azalea, you must first prepare the soil. Azaleas prefer an acidic soil and need to have good drainage. Therefore you must loosen the soil that it will be planted in about six to eight inches down. Also, be sure to test the acidity of the soil and adjust it accordingly. When creating the hole that it will be planted in, be sure to give it just enough room so that the root ball will be even or just above the earth. If planting more than one bush, be sure to space them with a few feet between to give the roots ample room to spread.

Azaleas prefer to be fertilized after they've had a chance to establish their roots. When the plant has successfully been put in the ground, water it thoroughly; about five to ten minutes with a garden hose, but do not fertilize. When it's been in the ground for a week or two and it's obvious that it's taking root and flourishing well, then fertilize and water regularly. When there's very little precipitation outside, water with a garden hose daily for five to ten minutes.

In the fall, prune the bush back to promote new and full growth for the following spring. Be sure to allow for fresh spring growth when pruning. The second growing season tends to have small amounts of growth, but in the third and thereafter the plant will really take off. Keep that in mind when pruning. Be sure there's enough room for growth above the ground as well as below.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for Backyard Garden and Patio where you can learn more about gardening and get tips on flower planting.
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