Encores again. How do they bloom?

laylaa(7b)April 27, 2009

I moved into a house with sever very badly declined azaleas I assumed were Encores due to the single bloom they each got in fall. They were in full hot sun, dry packed clay on a rock bed with litter up to their necks. They were so hideous people asked me what type of plant they were, and GA has more azaleas per capita than any state in the nation I believe.

Last year I moved them when I really should have tossed them. Being the human tree spade, I moved these huge things to a better location in a dappled shade wooded area, lots of organic material. Had to prune a great deal off them.

Well they bloomed. My lord did they bloom. Like the prom queen and her full court in my woods - you couldn't see the shrub at all or ground for the bloom cover. And they have grown like kudzu.

Now they all have a second set of blooms which look like they should be open in about a week or less - a full set covering the plants, not a light sparse blooming. Is this normal? I expected a lighter maybe mid-summer then fall flowers, but two full sets in spring? I checked the Encore site and it didn't say two sets, search here wasn't fruitful. What's the spring deal on these guys please? I'm not good with azaleas. I grow trees mostly.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Yes, you get two sets of blooms. The first set is on old wood, stems from last year. The second set in on new wood, stems that came from buds that opened this spring. Usually the two sets of blooms don't overlap. Sometimes you can get fall bloom, but that is robbing next springs first set of blooms so is not desirable for most people.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:05PM
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laylaa(7b)

Thank you - I understand now and took a close look at them and the answer should have been obvious to me. That's got to make calculating fertilizing time an art form. I'm amazed they bloomed at all this year. For me they are great evergreen spots for birds, the blooms are a bonus. It's a very flashy plant, I'm too used to a lot of foliage.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 5:32PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Fertilizing azaleas is easy, don't unless they show signs of problems. Usually the leaves indicate any problems. Also, soil tests can determine if fertilizing is necessary. It usually isn't.

I just visited a large commercial nursery and I noticed they had some azaleas that were a mass of buds on very small plants. They said that they superphosphated them to get that effect. I haven't pushed the limits to see what could happen, but I have to use superphosphate since my soil is deficient in phosphorus. I can't grow carrots or beets because of this deficiency.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:21AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

rhodyman:

Sometimes you can get fall bloom, but that is robbing next springs first set of blooms so is not desirable for most people.

Hmmm. I thought Fall bloom was the goal in growing Encore azaleas!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:55AM
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