planting az in the fall

maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)August 13, 2009

Hi, my son gave me an azalea for mothers day this year. It was from a box store and was pretty sad loking when I got it. It almost looked as tho it had been thru a frost. And quite possible here in Montana. I haven't planted it in the ground yet, but I am planning on doing it this fall. It has been in a 1/2 barrel with the pot burried as tho it were planted, and then covered with bark mulch.

The tag (as I recall, I have misplaced it) said full sun, and it did good in the west facing location I had it in all summer. Now I want to get it put of the pot and into the ground. It could stand a good prunning, some of the branches are very long and leggy. Maybe due to the exposure?? Should I prune it, wait and then transplant it later in the fall? Or transplant it now and prune in the later fall? Or wait to prune until next spring?

I don't have a picture of it, but it had orange almost tropical/hawiian large flowers on it, when the flower pedals fell off there were long stringy things hanging down, and shortly after it had seed pods (I think thats what they are), they have ribs and are about 2" long. They are still green. If/when I do prune it, should I leave those alone or cut them off?

Thanks to any and all for whatever advise you can send my way.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Hi Montana,

Don't prune now, wait until just after it blooms next spring. Otherwise you will be pruning off next years flowers.

I sounds like it may be a deciduous azalea. The are the most hardy. One such orange is Gibraltar. The flowers are a ball of orange.

They loose all their leaves in the winter and grow new leaves next year.

Don't fertilize now. If you do fertilize, use something like Hollytone once in the spring around bloom time. They don't need much feeding. They have symptoms that tell when they need feeding.

The mulching in the winter is good to prevent frost heave. In the summer, mulch conserves moisture and keeps the roots cool.

It may have the frost bit look from sun burn, drought, or fertilizer burn. Note, boron poisoning or fertilizer burn will create the same symptoms except uniformly over the plant rather than just on areas exposed to the sun and wind.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Grow Rhododendrons and Azaleas

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:54PM
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