Question: recover of Azalea damaged by falling pot

shic_2006(4a 5a)March 10, 2006

A large pot fell on top of this beautiful indoor pink Azalea. I lost about 10 valuable tiny seedlings in that pot.

The Azalea had two branches semi-broke. The woody center is severely broken (see image below). However, there is 1/2 to 1/3 healthy green/red skin still attached.

I do not have any grafting tapes, etc. I know many plants can expand their skin to recover. I let it stay like this. I removed all the flowers and buds from the two branches.

I would like to know if the branches may survive. What I can do to maximize the possibility of survival of the two branches. I actually like the falling shape of the two branches now.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Shic, the general suggestion for damaged azaleas is to remove anything jagged or torn with sharp pruners, a clean cut is preferable to anything ragged which could allow a foothold for secondary insect or disease problem. I'm not sure how that applies to plants grown indoors however...

Azaleas have dormant growth buds all up and down their stems so the location of the cut isn't critical to their regrowth, and healthy plants do respond well to hard pruning.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 11:07AM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Morz, thank you. I am considering doing that.

However, if you remember, this is a small indoor plants. By doing the cut, it is very close to "cut back to the ground level". I am concerned that it may take several years before retaining of the shape of the plant. I feel Azaleas are not speedy growers.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 12:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Recovery will be speedier if you make clean cuts soon. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:28PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)


From my previous interactions with you, I am not sure if you are giving me sincer advice.

If I cut the whole plant back, how long does it take to reach 1' under idea temperature and light?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 10:50AM
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Nell Jean

Shic, be kind to your plant and prune it back to the break.

Back in the winter, the lawn mow-er rolled right over a little rooted azalea cutting about 6 inches high, leaving tiny stubs of about an inch or so. Already it has green leaves and is growing. Azaleas that are cut back will usually quickly recover to the size they were before if the roots are not harmed and you don't manipulate their growing conditions too drastically.

Do you agree that pruning stimulates growth hormones?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 2:01PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Nell, that's sort of it :)

There is a hormone produced by leaf buds which inhibits development of dormant buds along the stems. Removing those upper leaf buds/leaves along with their inhibiting hormone allows for emergence of dormant lower growth. So in that way pruning does stimulate new growth.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 4:22PM
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