Azalea in a Pot

chiz965September 27, 2013

I was given an Azalea, my first, and because of lack of sun, except on my deck (4 hrs in summer) and at the recommendation of a nursery I transplanted into a pot 26"w by 18"h, about 5-6 weeks ago. It is doing well but because of the rainy season upon us I'm wondering if too much water will affect it. There are two mature rhods in my yard and they bloom every year. So what do you think?
I used soil from my acidic yard which is full of cedars and about half regular garden soil. Also threw in handfuls of tree needles. Rocks in bottom of pot with drain holes on bottom of pot. Thanks.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Contrary to popular wisdom, rocks (or other coarse stuff) doesn't help drainage.

And using garden soil in a container makes drainage worse.

Further, don't throw in tree needles.

Always use a potting mix in a container of any size.
Because you re-potted it just 5 to 6 weeks ago, I suggest you consider re-doing it the correct way w/ potting mix -- now.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 12:53AM
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Unless the potting mix is specifcally designed for azaleas and rhododendrons, I wouldn't use it, either. The most important characteristics of a mix for the use you intend are an acid pH, coarse texture and, especially, rapid drainage. Unless you live in an area of the country where mixes for rhododendrons/azaleas are sold, most of the readily available potting mixes do not have these characteristics. The Container Forum receipe involving peat, bark and granite grit is far better than what's available from the big box stores and giant producers of bagged mixes.

The addition of the conifer needles is not, imho, a bad idea at all. They break down slowly and help to keep a mix open and free draining. Just don't overdo it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 5:15AM
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