bringing back two azaleas

lefou7June 6, 2008

I have two azaleas in my yard, not sure what kind, but they are on the small side. The problem with them is that they have one or two long branches with blooms, but the rest of the plants, on the inside, seem to be dead wood. I'm not sure how to proceed: should I cut them way back, or are they on their way out?

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

There are a number of problems that may cause this.

Shade: shade causes azaleas to grow tall and spindly. Too much shade will also cause a lack of bloom. Too much sun on the other hand can cause problems, so partial shade is the best.

Variety: some varieties tend to send up tall shoots every year. They usually respond well to pruning immediately after the bloom is finished.

Vitality: when azaleas are struggling they may tend to put emphasis on bloom to the detriment of the plant. They need good drainage, acidic soil, to be watered during periods of drought, and a good mulch. The mulch has many purposes. It keeps the soil cool in the heat of the summer and prevents frost heave in the winter. It conserves moisture during drought and keeps weed growth down which will take its toll on the shallow rooted azaleas.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to grow rhododendrons and azaleas.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:52PM
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