Covering Encore Azaleas with plastic ?

rolacoyMarch 19, 2010

I bought about 60 Encore Azaleas in June nearly two years ago. I planted them in the Summer of 08 so this will be their 3rd Summer here. They were in the buckets that are bigger than gallons. Is that 2 gallon, anyway they were pretty good size and expensive. I lost 3 during that Summer, because I did not know what I was doing. The next Spring I bought 15 in the gallon buckets.

I planted the 60 along our back fence and the 15 around 2 big Oak trees. I had to dig up the 15 last Winter, I was told that the Oak trees were eating all of the food. I lost 3 or 4 of the 15. I now have what is left of the 156 in the greenhouse in the bigger buckets. I trimmed them back and they are starting to put on nice big leaves.

The 60 across the back of the yard don't look too good to me, but I am very new at this and don't know what I am doing. About 1/2 of them are in the sun and the other 1/2 will be in the shade of the Oak trees once they leaf out. I will post some pictures this afternoon.

I have a question, I put a sheet of plastic over 5 of the 60 that are in the sun to see what it will do to them. I thought maybe they would think that they were in a greenhouse and put on some nice leaves like the smaller ones.

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rolacoy

Here are some pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Encore Azaleas Pictures

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:00PM
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luis_pr

Just to see if I understood, rolacoy, the purpose of the "plastic over the shrubs" experiment is to see if that makes them produce more leaves?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 2:26PM
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rolacoy

I just wondered if they would start growing earlier with the plastic. Also they don't look too healthy to me, because they seem to have lost a lot of leaves during the winter.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 6:50AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I was hoping someone with a more similar climate would answer you, my first thought when looking at your photos is 'dry'. But I don't know if that is summer dry, or if you experienced cold drying winds over winter (which had odd temperatures for many of us).

Oak are generally considered good companion trees for underplanting with azaleas and rhododendrons although while not growing them, I understand the Encores will take more sun than many. Most oak are not surface rooted so offer little competition for water and nutrients and the shade they provide usually filtered, not dense.

I know it's been some time since you planted, but do you remember roughening up those rootballs when you took them from the containers, before installing them in the ground?

As for the plastic - I can't really see anything to be gained there by covering them in earliest Spring.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:44PM
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rolacoy

Yes I did rough up the root balls. They were in the ground under the Oaks for about a year and they just got worse and worse till I put them into pots. They seem to be doing just fine now. However, I did lose, I think 3. I need to replant them now, but I have not decided where to plant them.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:54AM
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rolacoy

Yes I did rough up the root balls. They were in the ground under the Oaks for about a year and they just got worse and worse till I put them into pots. They seem to be doing just fine now. However, I did lose, I think 3. I need to replant them now, but I have not decided where to plant them.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:32PM
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