What'ca think?

lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)August 12, 2007

Hi a One of the large landscaped homes here discarded about 7 bushes. I am not sure if they are azaleas or rhododendrens. They appear to be stressed from lack of water. any hope for them?

do I need to prune them back or just leave them be? anything else I can do to help them?

Pictures are of the worst ones.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

They are either dry or diseased, probably dry. I would soak the root ball in water for an hour before planting. Then plant in an area with acidic soil and good drainage and don't over water them. The roots need to be able to breathe between waterings. I would water them thoroughly when the leaves look a little wilted in the morning. They should normally look wilted in the heat of hot days. Some of them should make it. Watch carefully for dieback. Prune off branches that look like they are going to die.

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

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 9:52PM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

Ok will give it a try. I planted some already wondering if I should pullthem up and soak them first then replant?
thanks for the quick reply, Cherry

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 7:53AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

If the leaves haven't straightened out, then did them up and soak them for an hour. Once the root ball dries out, it is difficult to get it wet.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 9:52AM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

How many days should it take till the leaves uncurl?
Thanks.. I am guessing it should happen pretty quickly, right?
but if not would you leave them till spring to see if they make it?
Cherry

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 8:22PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

You are right, once they are rehydrated, they should open up their leaves. The advantage of leaving them in the ground if they haven't recovered is that they may still have life in the roots and send up new shoots. They do this in the wild. It is late in the season and such shoots would have a tough time making it through the winter, but it could happen. If I could stand the looks of them, I would leave ones that look like they aren't going to make it in the ground until next June. By then they should either be struggling back or have given up.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 7:42AM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

Your the best!

I will leave them to see how it goes by the spring.
Thanks for your patience with my questions even if they seem silly.
Cherry

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 7:59AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

How are they looking now? My bet is that most of them made it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 7:46AM
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lovelycherry(Z7 Long Island)

I was going to pull one of the six rhodies up and throw it away the leaves are totally brown, and my friends are wondering if I know it is dead.
I pulled it up and it actually has new white roots! I got hopeful and planted it back in its spot and watered well.
anyone know if I can/should prune it now? Or does that just make it go into more shock?
I don't think any of them could handle any more stress.

Cherry

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 7:46PM
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greentouch(7b)

Hi, Cherry,

The flower buds for next year have already been set, so if you prune now, you will cut off next spring's blooms. Also, a pruning just before winter will cause more plant damage. They will try to set new growth now.

I was given about 9 torn up azaleas from a house that was being demolished, and planted them last fall. They really looked dead, had not been cared for in years.

The ones in full sun bloomed sparsely in the spring, but the ones in light shade did not even put leaves on. The 4 survivors look wonderful now, full of new branches and fat with leaves. Had no idea what colors they were... turned out, there were 2 light pink and 2 dark pink, and just accidentally got planted in a diamond shape, so that worked out well.

Good luck with yours. All i did with mine was water a lot, since they don't like dry roots, and trim out the broken branches. I may prune after they bloom in 08, to keep them at about 4 feet in height.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 8:00PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

They don't like wet roots either. They like moist WELL DRAINED soil. If the roots dry out, the plant is dead. If the roots stay too wet the plant is dead, especially in hot weather. The optimum is in between. Drainage is very important. That is why people with alkaline clay soil that drains poorly always used raised beds of good well drained acidic soil. Since rhododendrons and azaleas have shallow roots, a raised bed only needs to be about 8" to 12" high.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:52AM
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