flowers under cedar trees

jeviolet(z5 IA)August 2, 2004

I am trying to start a garden of flowers under my cedar tree windbreak. The trees are on the west, pretty old and you are able to walk under them without any problems. The are would be considered shady with some dappled sun. I have tried some wildflower mixes but the area doesnt get enough sun or rain I think. Is there a problem specifically with the cedar trees? Will flowers grow under them? Thank you!

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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

Hardy azaleas and rhodedendrons should like it under there. That's the way they grow in the wild, such as mountainous areas. They like the acid soils under conifers.

Azaleas are one thing that I don't find much around here, but you find them a lot in locations with acid soils. I'm thinking of the eastern seaboard, but I have also noticed them in photos of the Pacific northwest, where conifers are king.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 4:23PM
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Azaleas are hardy in Zone 5? My son gave me one for Mother's Day. The clerk told me later that I would have to bring it in for the winter. I am currently setting up a garden underneath a huge pine tree and this would be perfect if it will survive!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 9:16PM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

Well, I know that the aboretum in Minneapolis has a long time program testing rhododendrons for hardiness, and I think, azaleas, too. They are closely related species. If they can find some to survive Zone 4, there should be some for us (Z5), too. Their brand is called the "Northern Lights" line.

I have never tried them here (Chicagoland) myself. I lived 12 years in Virginia, and they are everywhere there -- but of course, they are Zone 6. And they have conifers everywhere, planted around with azaleas.

Those potted "florists' azaleas" are not the same as the ones you plant outside, I don't think. They are lovely, but they look different to me. And I believe they aren't hardy here.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 10:35PM
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tadeusz5(z5 il)

Janet in Iowa; Rhodies and azaleas, Viburnums, Woodland flowers, spring bulbs, aronia's, pieris, kalmia's, the list could go on. Janet you have about 5 arboretums spread across Iowa, when you get a chance go see what they have growing, and if you are in a driving mood go up I-35 to Chanhassen, Minnesota to check out the hardy plants in the U of M arboretum, each spring they also have a plant sale there for the general public.

Oswegian- Lots of Azaleas and Rhododendrons do grow in the Midwest Area- including Evergreen azalea's- a lady in a tiny Rural town of Buffolo,Minnesota (Frozen Thundra)has over 1,000 deciduous azaleas that come into bloom every spring- needless to say the bloom stops the car traffic.
I myself and many other members of the Midwest Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and the Lake Michigan Chapter of Azalea Society of America do have them and they
survive- check out the link below- click on Gallery then
slide show of John Migas Woodlands Nursery in Saugatuck,Michigan. On May 19-22-2005 in Holland ,michigan the Azalea Society of America will have it's annual convention, I invite you to check out the numerous gardens, the numerous plants like rhodies/azaleas that will be available. The General public is welcome to attend.

Cheyjohn- In Upland,Indiana numerous varieties of Magnolia's are planted and they survive -thus if the azalea that your son (I presume and hope that he is back from Iraq)
bought is not a "florist" type - then you should have no worries.Did the Azalea have a tag on it- thus we can tell.

Here is a link that might be useful: azaleas in the Midwest

    Bookmark   December 3, 2004 at 9:43PM
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chezjohn, This is jan from MN. I have seen the Northern Lights series at the arboretum. It is beautiful. I have tried them under my spruce and other places: rosey - lasted 1 yr., golden 5 yr - not long enough to be a large mature azalea here. I forget the other two a white and sort of coral, but they lasted only a couple of years too. Golden lasted the longest and had a mild fragrance.

Don't know what they do to them at the arboretum they are probably 6 - 8 feet tall and about that broad - gorgeous.

I have better luck with PJM rhododendrums. They are hardier, but still lose them at about 2 - 3' after about 6 - 7 years.
Hope this helps. jan

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 11:41AM
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