New at planting Azaleas, Affraid

littlelonelyoneApril 1, 2009

I have never planted Azaleas before and I am affraid I made a huge mistake. I recently purchased and planted 2 Azaleas, they were not in bloom, I got new garden flower and plant soil, dug the holes 2 to 3 inches larger than the root balls, then placed them in the soil covered what the directions that came with them said. But after researching Azaleas online I have found out that I should have loosened the root balls before planting, I did not do that. I planted these two Azalea plants in memory of my late husband, and now I fear that I just killed them, by forgetting to loosen the root balls. I have been crying since seeing I made a mistake. Please, someone tell me if this mistake is as huge as my heart is making it, did I kill my memorial of my late husband??

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Littleone, first - my sympathies on your loss. I wish I had the words to gently tell you not to place more importance than necessary on this first attempt to do something in his memory, your true memories will be much more stable than new plants from a garden center - please don't cry over them.

It's early in the season, if recently planted the azaleas would not have begun to establish yet. Most but not all azaleas will come somewhat rootbound in their nursery pots and need to have the roots loosened. Let's assume yours do need it - you still have time to lift them out, score the sides of the rootball in 3 or 4 places with something sharp, replace in the ground, being careful not to plant them deeper in the ground than they were originally growing in their pots. If there seems to be a mass of tight roots at the bottom of the root ball where it had grown to the bottom of the container, loosen that too. Good luck, and let us know if you have any more questions :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 2:12PM
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Though I did not get the chance to dig them back up and loosen the roots, I am noticing new stems, leaves, new buddings, and they both have a couple flowers opening up. Is this a good sign that they took, even though I hadn't loosened the root balls? My next question then becomes, when should I fertilize and start bug blocking? I noticed with other flowering plants, especially my rose bushes last year, there are these tiny spiders that seem to love making flowering plants thier home. Sorry, about all the questions, but I am really new at this, the flower gardening was always my late=husband's thing, I was alway the herb garden caregiver.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 2:33PM
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