Transplanting mature azalea

paulinebunyanJuly 15, 2008

We got word of an old victorian house being torn down, and a number of very old azaleas in immanent danger of being destroyed, and we were offered as many as we could take. We transplanted two--about 5 feet tall (not including roots), and one of them was that height because it had been pruned in years past, from the look of the very thick limb that had been pruned. So we're talking MATURE. We dug a wide root ball, and put them in two even wider holes, with high quality compost. But the soil into which we put them was very clayish, and rocky (though we removed a bunch of rocks), compost aside. Been watering daily, will cut back to every other day after they've been in six weeks (been three weeks so far). Anything else we should be doing? Because of the last minute information on the tear-down, we didn't have time to prepare for this; but they look fabulous, like they've been there for years, and we want them to take, of course. So any further suggestions are welcome. I've read on other websites that there are liquid additions you can use in your watering to minimize shock, but none of the gardening centers near us have heard of this: anyone know anything about them? And is it too late to use such a product? PS, we live in a wooded area in SE PA, the azaleas get a few hours of sun each day, but not too much. We've been having drought, hence the vigorous watering.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I hope you incorporated the compost into the local soil when you prepared the hole - digging out and refilling with organic matter can sometimes have a bath tub effect when rains do start.

I'm not sure what your weather is doing to know if you need to be watering daily, you want the soil moist but never soggy which could lead to root problems in warmer weather.

Other than that, my only suggestion would be to mulch the root zone to cool the roots and conserve moisture if you haven't already done so. Azaleas can usually be moved very successfully, even though this isn't the ideal time of year for transplanting in many climates.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 3:53PM
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