New/Young Garden guy.

Admit1(4b)June 5, 2012

Hey folks,

I just purchased my first home 2 years ago and with the previous owner leaving me a blank canvas as far as landscaping goes I put in a 70'x3' flower bed along a border fence. I was looking for something to grow a bit bigger in the 5-8' range and it seemed like Azalea's and Rhododendron were beautiful and the size I need, my local big box garden center had them half off due to the spring blooms being over with so I got 2 Azaleas and 1 rhododendron without really doing my usual hardnose research. My question is are these two more than a newb can handle? I have little experience in gardening but tons of ambition to learn. The Azaleas seem to be fine but once in a wile my rhododendron gets kind of droopy, I just end up watering it and it comes right back. How finicky are these two?

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The big challenge in growing rhododendrons and azaleas in Z4b will be winter low temperatures. It would be helpful to know the specific varieties you have, as the big box stores are often pretty cavalier about selling things not suited to the climate you're in. This would especially be the case for any kind of evergreen azalea if this is what you have. Protecting the new plants from sun and wind for the winter with burlap screens, evergreen boughs, etc. is probably a must. This will not keep them warmer but will protect from dessication.

Keep them well watered for the summer, protect in winter and if they are hardy enough for your zone all should be well.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:11AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

The rootball is probably rather small for the size of the plant and that is causing it to dry out quickly. Also, if you didn't ruffle up the rootball before planting the rootball has a relatively small surface are and isn't expanding out in to the surrounding soil as fast as it could. You will have to pay extra close attention to it's water needs until it does.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:01PM
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