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Old 05-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
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Azalea problem


Hello,

I planted an azalea a couple years ago and this spring I noticed it was not budding except for a few lower branches. I started to feel if the branches were dried up and noticed that it was loose in the ground so I gave it another wiggle and it broke off.

Seems it was "hanging by a thread"


Does anyone have any idea what might have happened here? We did have a nasty winter full of wind, snow and an early spring ice storm.

Is this the type of plant that will eventually grow back out from the roots in the ground or should I yank out the root ball and drop another one in?

Thanks

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Old 05-29-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Azalea problem


Do a soil test first to see what's missing.

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Old 05-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #3
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Azalea problem


Are you talking about a complete soil analysis that I send a sample to or something you buy in the store like a pH test?
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:45 AM   #4
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The soil would have NOTHING to do with that problem . It was either improperly planted, got a strangling root , had a borer, maybe a nylon cord was left wrapped around the stem, something, but not the soil.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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Azalea problem


It could be that the plant was not one that will do well where you live,some varities will refuse to grow in some areas,here's a link that may interest you.

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic...native-azaleas
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
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Azalea problem


Azaelas are very shallow rooted plants. As Chris suggests they can easily strangle themselves. You need to slice and untangle the roots when you plant them or they can just spiral the shape and grow in the shape of the nursery or florist container they came in.

Because they root so shallow mulching them is important and they do not often do so well in climates where the soil freezes.

Their roots love to be moist but not wet at all times. Their leaves benefit from misting.

They love organic rich soil and are acid loving plants but Ph imbalance did not do this.

To be honest, I have never had much luck growing them outside in Northern climates unless I considered them sacrificial annuals and not the perrenials they are. Some of their cousins, rhodies, do well in our zone though.

The plant you show could definitely have benefited some sharp pruning shears at some point of its life.

Last edited by user1007; 05-30-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Yeah, sounds like that plant is kind of high maintenance and just not cut out for my climate. I bought it from a nursery and transplanted it in Sep 2011. It did fine and bloomed the following spring but it didn't survive this winter.

Our rose bush, butterfly bush and hummingbird bush, all of which were planted along with the Azalea grew fine last year but fell victim to this past winter. Either I have a brown thumb, or I chose the wrong plants for our climate.

Thanks everyone for the info.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:59 AM   #8
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Azalea problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richo View Post
Yeah, sounds like that plant is kind of high maintenance and just not cut out for my climate. I bought it from a nursery and transplanted it in Sep 2011. It did fine and bloomed the following spring but it didn't survive this winter.

Our rose bush, butterfly bush and hummingbird bush, all of which were planted along with the Azalea grew fine last year but fell victim to this past winter. Either I have a brown thumb, or I chose the wrong plants for our climate.

Thanks everyone for the info.
I would not be too hard on yourself. Although we were spared most family in Wisconsin and Minnesota had a weird winter. And it did linger on with some lingering frosts. And frost, more so than snow, can really do a number on plant material.

If it were me, and you bought from a real nursery, I would chat about better selections of plants for your zone but no way they could have predicted this past winter. It does concern me that you lost so many but it could just be nature at work.

Were there any signs of nematodes or borers when you took the plants out? I hate to see you plant more if you have an issue that needs to be addressed.

And as Chris hinted, where the roots wrapped around themselves and still more or less the shape of the nursery container they came in? You have to unwrap them. Or, I sometimes planted them and then used a water jet probe to sort of pop the root balls open in nice planting soil.

Please don't be afraid to prune plants, even the day you plant them. It is sometimes in the grower or nurseries interest to offer you overgrown plants but giving them a good pruning really helps them along. And you can get rid of structural problems that will haunt you later.

Last edited by user1007; 05-31-2013 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:19 AM   #9
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Azalea problem


Did you rememeber to wrap those plants up for winter survival. All of those listed needed protection from harsh winter winds.

This picture is extreme, but its pretty much the idea. Burlap staked around the perimeter, with leaves piled around the base. I wouldn't cover all the way to the top though

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Old 05-31-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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Azalea problem


creeper, the head knot bags up the leaves in the fall, after cutting down
the lotus plants he places the bags on top of the lotus pots ( the pots
are buried in the ground) This keeps them warm in the winter.
Also, he surrounds many of the plants with mounded leaves such as the
roses. The leaves are a natural blanket.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:17 AM   #11
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Azalea problem


Unfortunately I did not wrap the plants in the winter, which probably had something to do with their demise. The previous winter was very mild and short which is probably why they were OK last year. The boxwoods which I planted at the same time as the others have wind damage and I will be wrapping them up from now on.

I didn't look over any of the plants in detail for the cause of their failure. I think my wife cut the rose bush down to the ground before winter started and in spring I cut the butterfly and hummingbird to the ground when the branches were all brittle.

I did not break apart the roots on the azalea before planting. I guess it helps to read up on plants before choosing them. I prefer low maintenance plants. I will have to talk to someone at the nursery when I choose the plants to replace these with.

Thanks again.

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