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transplanting old azaleas

Posted by gw409 none (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 20:52

new york south region

a few years ago i moved a bunch of small azaleas to a different area of the house. i clustered them in hopes of creating a tight geometric shape. i think the area i chose for transplant gets way too much hot afternoon sun. i want to move them again to a more shaded location. is it advisable to cut them back significantly prior to transplant? these were my fathers and are about 15 years old so i would like to save them for sentimental reasons.

any advice on this would be appreciated.
thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: transplanting old azaleas

did a little reading on the forum, looks like i have two isseus to contend with. one a drastic pruin and two a transplant. i am confused on how this should be timed?

also how much sun or shade is too much for azaleas?


RE: transplanting old azaleas

The ideal exposure is probably morning sun and afternoon shade, although there are some azalea varieties that will do well in full sun except in very hot climates.

Any pruning done now will eliminate next year's bloom. Azaleas and rhododendrons are very easy to move because of their shallow, vibrous root system, but, all in all, you'd probably be better off waiting until after next year's bloom to move them. At that point you can prune to shape the plants to the form you want, but it is not a requirement for transplanting them.

RE: transplanting old azaleas

It is never recommended that the top be pruned to compensate for root loss during transplanting. Woody plants need all of those leaves in order to manufacture a brand new root system.

RE: transplanting old azaleas

Also, now is not the time to prune in the Northern Hemisphere. Pruning stimulates new growth and delays hardening off and dormancy. This causes serious problems. It is OK to move now, in fact probably the best time to move if you mulch properly so you don't get frost heave.

RE: transplanting old azaleas

so assuming i don't care about bloom next season, could i transplant now, mulch well and prune back next spring before the season starts?

RE: transplanting old azaleas

Yes, as rhodyman wrote, this is a good time to transplant as long as you mulch well and make sure they have enough water right through November.

rhizo 1's comments about pruning and root loss are accurate for many plants, but don't really apply to rhododendrons and azaleas. With care, it's not at all difficult to move close to 100% of the existing roots - they're in a shallow compact mass. Pruning now will stimulate late soft growth, as rhodyman noted. That's reason enough to wait for spring.

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