what causes difference in azalea bloom?
I am experiencing my first spring in with a foundation bed in our new house and have a question about 5 azalea bushes I have inherited.
They are in full sun most of the day and are planted in awful clay soil. In the very early spring, I moved 2 shrubs and left 3 where they have been for probably 5 years.
The two I moved bloomed beautifully. 1 of the 3 I left bloomed ok, the other 2 had no flowers.
My question is this...is the bloom difference from their treatment this year or was were the buds set last year and it had nothing to do with the transplantation, but something with their conditions last year? The only thing I can think of is that the transplanted shrubs may have gotten a little more shade than the others before I moved them. The one of the 3 that remained in their old spot MAY have gotten a little filtered shade from a nearby tree, but it would be a minimal difference from the other 2 that didn't bloom. They area planted in a row. I mixed in a better top soil and peat moss with the transplanted shrubs. The others are, obviously, in the same dry clay soil.
They all looked the same when I moved them, I thougth they all had a ton of flower buds, but I guess I may have mistaken the flower buds on the ones that didn't bloom. Could those have been just leaves I was seeing? I gave them all Miracle Grow Azalea food when I moved them (which I know now was a mistake, but they all look ok). The transplanted ones have fewer leaves, but a ton of flowers. They were actually looking pretty rough before the bloom. Now they are filling in with leaves. The others have a ton of nice leaves, but no flowers.
Thanks for any input. I have never had azaleas before and I'm hoping to do anything I can for a good bloom next year. I would love it if all 5 shrubs could bloom at the same time! Also, if I wanted to shape the shrubs a little, should I do that now, just as the flowers are dying off?