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New Azaleas... suggestions and tips please..

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by Pinkhorseofcourse on April 19, 2006 12:41 PM
I just bought 4 new Azaleas yesterday. They are a bit small, but look very healthy. I also bought some Azalea food. So now what?? [dunno] ha ha ha

I have never had these before, but they were so pretty, I couldn't resist! What is the best way to give them a good start when I plant them?

Also, I was considering some Gladiolas(sp?), but wasn't sure if I were to plant them now, if they will bloom this summer... and don't I have to dig them up in the fall? Thanks! [flower]
by SpringFever on April 19, 2006 09:31 PM
Glads yes you have to dig them in fall... you should plant now for summer...
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/azaleas.htm

This might help ya out [wavey]

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by Pinkhorseofcourse on April 20, 2006 04:35 AM
Thanks so much!! I am excited to get them in the ground.. they are soo pretty!! [flower]
by Pinkhorseofcourse on April 20, 2006 04:55 AM
Ok, I read over the information in that link. It said Azaleas must be grown in an acid soil. Is there a way to raise the acidity of the soil if it isn't high enough. Now I am reluctant to plant them, as I have no idea what type of soil we have here. And it also said they won't tolerate lime. I don't know if we have lime either. [dunno]

It also stated they need to have partial shade during the hottest parts of the day, but I have seen several around my area that are in full sun.. maybe it would be ok as long as I keep them watered well? *sigh* Now I am discouraged. I didn't know they needed so much special care.

If there is anyone who has Azaleas, can you tell me if you have to have your soil tested and if you HAVE to have them in partial shade? Thanks!!

[wavey]
by SpringFever on April 20, 2006 05:10 AM
LOL Don't panic.... OK lyme is what you put in the soil to lower the PH I wouldn't worry about that part if you see a lot in your area I am sure it will grow in your yard too... I am sure someone will be in to tell you to go to Home Depot and get a soil tester... I know pine needles raise Ph so I am sure there will be some helpful hints for you soon [Wink]

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by Pinkhorseofcourse on April 20, 2006 06:51 AM
LOL Thanks! So, should I wait to plant them? I also read on that site to put in compost and peat... I don't have that stuff. Is it a definite must, or just a suggestion do you think.. Grrr... I was just hoping to bring them home, find a nice spot in my yard, dig a hole, drop 'em in and water. [tongue] But apparently it isn't that simple. Darn it! And it says to sprinkle rhododendron food in the hole. I bought Azalea food... [dunno] LOL Any more information would be great guys! Keep it comin'! [wavey]
by joclyn on April 20, 2006 11:05 AM
can't help with the azalea - other than to say we had them growing up and they were in full sun for most of the day...the bushes are currently over 50 years old and still going strong!!

you can get some peat at any garden center. i'd add some in the hole when planting - doesn't hurt anything!! what site did you go to that said to use rhody food?? i wouldn't worry too much, use the stuff you bought.

thing is, you need to get them into the ground soon, so work with what you've got on hand. if they're nice healthy specimens, they should do just fine.

gladiola's are terrific!! they come in a good variety of colors. mine are a deep magenta - really, really lovely! i've got them out front and in the back yard. those in front have shade until midday and those in back are in full sun until late in the day. both sets do wonderful! i've heard you're supposed to take them up in the fall. i never have and they come back every year. i DO put down a good, thick layer of leaves in the fall tho, so maybe that's what's been saving them? or it could be the zone i'm in. dunno...it's working tho, so i'm not changing a thing!

oh, they get real tall so they should be used at the back of your bed - and planted preferably so that they are against something so that you can give them the support they need. i've got mine next to the fence in the back and in the front they're in front of the porch - which is raised up from the lawn so they lean against the wall.

heavy rain/wind will knock them down, so, you might want to stake them. i tie them to the fence - those in front of the porch are in a more protected spot and i've never had a problem with them falling over.
by SpringFever on April 20, 2006 10:21 PM
I would stick it in the hole [Confused] But that is what I do [Embarrassed] I know it is probably bad but I do it anyway LOL

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by obywan59 on April 20, 2006 11:03 PM
No, lime raises the pH and makes it more alkaline. To make it more acid, get some peat moss and dig a big hole for each azalea, bigger than it looks like you would need. Then mix the peat moss with the soil from the hole roughly 50:50. You can mix in some of your azalea food also, or just sprinkle it on top. Follow the directions on the package.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by kyjoy on April 21, 2006 12:19 AM
You can purchase fertilizer especially for Azaleas, however, the rootball should have enough in it to start. The most important thing is that you plant one hardy to your area and follow the planting instructions on the label. For example, I have White Lights and it requires partial shade.
by Budman on April 21, 2006 12:34 AM
I have had great success with Azaleas. The best thing for Azaleas and Rhodo's is Hollytone! It is a slow realease fertilizer that will also make the soil more acidic. I also use Miracle Grow for acid loving plants. It used to be called Miracid, but it has been changed. It is a water soluable fertilizer that works instantly. I pour it right over the plant as it also feeds through the leaves (foliar). I add the hollytone to the planting hole (about a cup) and around the root zone prior to placing the mulch down. You should use Fine Pine mulch as the azaleas have a shallow root system that comes up right at the surface. The mulch breaks down quickly and makes the soil more acidic as well. Always keep the root zone covered or your azaleas will get stressed out. Hope this helps,
by SpringFever on April 21, 2006 01:01 AM
quote:
Originally posted by obywan59:
No, lime raises the pH and makes it more alkaline. To make it more acid, get some peat
Oops thought I was told it lowers it.
my bad

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by obywan59 on April 21, 2006 01:56 AM
Budman's right. I've been using Holly-tone for a year and a half, and I have one rhododendron going on 4 feet high with about 100 buds on it! Also, I used to pick off all the spent blooms so the developing seeds woudn't sap energy from the plant. Since I've been using Holly-tone I haven't picked off a single bloom and my rhododendrons are still covered with buds! I have similar results in bloom and increased health of my azaleas.

I fertilize both in spring and then at half-strength in fall.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Pinkhorseofcourse on April 21, 2006 04:15 AM
Wow.. thanks for all the great replies. It sounds complicated. [scaredy] I have to get some peat moss, and I have never heard of Hollytone, but I can look for it. Maybe I will be going to town tomorrow. I want to get these in the ground as soon as possible. I do have Azalea food. I bought it when I bought the plants.

I am glad I found all you guys!! [kissies]

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