Return to the Azalea & Rhododendron Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Shade, clay and cold

Posted by Rick_MG.TN 7a (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 11:08

I recently moved to zone 7a (nashville) from the south where I had extensive groupings of azeleas. I have a hill facing north, stone and clay, 8 by 12 pitch (roofing terms), under almost full shade from very tall mature trees. I want to plant azeleas and rhododendrons, but as I research them there are problems. For example I like g.g.gerbing and Taber azeleas which I found are hardy, but they are not recommended for zones below 7b. I find the small leaf azeleas have very shallow roots and need constant watering, which would not be always feasible. Likewise I found only "carolina" rhododendrons suitable, but I don't find then at local nurseries, so I'm not sure if they are suitable. Can someone suggest azelea and rhododendron varieties for my wind swept hill.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Shade, clay and cold

If you're willing to invest the time, money and effort, raised beds on top of the unsuitable clay soil are an option. Dense shade and strong winds are much less easily dealt with as is root competition from the existing trees, The latter can be a real issue depending at least in part on the tree species involved. Thinning out some of the trees and/or limbing them up might help greatly.

As for varieties, any of the species rhododendrons native to southern areas such as carolinianum, catawbiense, and cumberlandense and their hybrid offspring should be suitable. There are also some new hybrids bred specifically for the south which involve the Taiwanese species hyperythrum. Meadowbrook Nursery has a good selection. There many, many evergreen azalea varieties which should be suitable , but many of these may suffer extensive leaf damage from winter sun and wind.


 o
RE: Shade, clay and cold

All rhododendrons and azaleas have very shallow roots. They also have a tendency to develop root rot if the roots are kept too wet in hot weather. For these two reasons, it is best to keep the azaleas in an area with partial shade, excellent drainage, and a good mulch layer. The mulch does two equally important jobs, it conserves moisture in the soil and protects the roots from hot weather.

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


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Azalea & Rhododendron Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here