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tips for growing azaleas in middle Tennessee?

Posted by lancetn 7a (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 11, 08 at 3:44

My wife is from Tyler, TX where azaleas and roses seem to grow effortlessly. We are hoping to incorporate some azaleas into our Tennessee garden, and would appreciate any advice you might have for helping azaleas grow in the middle Tennessee area. We know what to do in Tyler, but wonder if there are some special things one can do here to help them prosper. We want to go with Rhododendron kaempferi, "Johanna", a Vuyk hybrid and hardy to -5 F. We have 6.0 acidic loam soil with good drainage. We would appreciate your insights for getting azaleas off to a good start.

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RE: tips for growing azaleas in middle Tennessee?

Azaleas are great here if they get only mrning sun. Your soil and PH sound fine for them. If possible, mulch them with pine bark or pine needles.
They are (over)used as foundation plants and also work well for naturalizing in woods if there is enough sunlight.
Our biggest concern lately is drought. Since azaleas and rhododendrons are shallow-rooted they dry out quickly and need to be watered often.

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