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  • David L linda smith
    [this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC] i have a 5 plant - 30 year old 7 foot high azalea bunch in my front yard. over the last couple of
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 21 4:42 PM
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      [this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC]

      i have a 5 plant - 30 year old 7 foot high azalea bunch in my front yard. over the last couple of years, the inside has died off but the outside continues to grow. should i cut out all of the dead branches inside? i have been doing some selective cutting but i'm worried that cutting out so much might be harmful of hurtful once winter sets in, i live in minnesota and am worried that cutting so much out it might not be able to handle the snowpack we get. Please, any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks, dori
    • lflluch
      ... Hello, Dori. I usually prune out dead stems to prevent fungal issues but then again, I do not have more than a 3 pack for the whole of winter. Lord
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 22 5:54 AM
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        --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, David L linda smith <dakotasmith@...> wrote:
        >
        > [this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC]
        >
        > i have a 5 plant - 30 year old 7 foot high azalea bunch in my front yard. over the last couple of years, the inside has died off but the outside continues to grow. should i cut out all of the dead branches inside? i have been doing some selective cutting but i'm worried that cutting out so much might be harmful of hurtful once winter sets in, i live in minnesota and am worried that cutting so much out it might not be able to handle the snowpack we get. Please, any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks, dori
        >


        Hello, Dori. I usually prune out dead stems to prevent fungal issues but then again, I do not have more than a 3" pack for the whole of winter. Lord o'lord! Why don't you prune them in Spring instead when this issue will not cause problems?
      • mgarndt@juno.com
        How do I get my azaleas ready for winter...How far back do I prune them they hardly had any flowers this year and all the old stocks that I LEFT LAST FALL ARE
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 28, 2013
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          How do I get my azaleas ready for winter...How far back do I prune them they hardly had any flowers this year and all the old stocks that I LEFT LAST FALL ARE STILL THERE AND NEW ONES GREW.  Do they grow from the bulbs or off old stems.  I think t might be best to cut it back down to the ground so it can start over.  RSVP

          I love them just don't know how to care for them

          Gloria Arndt



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        • George Klump
          ... 28 October 2013 Greetings, Gloria, Not being sure just where you live, I can only offer some general ideas here. First off the bat, I would NOT prune your
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 28, 2013
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            On 10/28/2013 4:18 PM, mgarndt@... wrote:
            bject:
            [AZ] help please
            From:
            "mgarndt@..." <mgarndt@...>
            Date:
            10/28/2013 4:12 PM
            To:
            azaleas@yahoogroups.com

             

            How do I get my azaleas ready for winter...How far back do I prune them they hardly had any flowers this year and all the old stocks that I LEFT LAST FALL ARE STILL THERE AND NEW ONES GREW.  Do they grow from the bulbs or off old stems.  I think t might be best to cut it back down to the ground so it can start over.  RSVP

            I love them just don't know how to care for them

            Gloria Arndt

            28 October 2013

            Greetings, Gloria,

            Not being sure just where you live, I can only offer some general ideas here.  First off the bat, I would NOT prune your azaleas at all at this time.  If you do, you will get no flowers for next year.  Leave the old growth alone and let the new growth flourish, since it will be from the new growth that next season's flowers will come.  Azaleas do not grow from bulbs. 

            If you live in a snow belt, then, the snow will protect them normally.  If you have one of those winter days where there is no significant snow on the ground, but you have a cold wind, then, I would see to it that the ground around all your azaleas has plenty of water.  The reason for that is to prevent desiccation of the plants.  Cold winter winds will pull the water right out of the soil AND the azaleas, too.  So keep them well watered in the cold windy weather.  Azaleas do not mind a moist soil, but they will not tolerate having their roots sitting in water, so be sure that your soil drains reasonably well.  Azaleas will take just about all the water you can give them SO LONG AS it drains away from their roots about as fast as it comes in. 

            Second, it sounds as if you have a hit or miss system going with respect to the care for your azaleas.  I will make some suggestions for them.  Number one is that azaleas do not like to be fed all that much.  We tend to feed them only three times per year. . . .period.  Those times are Easter, Fourth of July and Labor Day.  If you are still experiencing hard freezes at Easter, just wait till that danger is past.  The same for Labor Day, i.e. if you get freezes in October, the Labor Day feeding is backed up a couple of weeks, it's that simple.  Number two is that we use cottonseed meal to feed the plants.  It is a slow releasing food and does not burn the azaleas.  It's also organic and eventually helps your soil.  Three, we just use a cupful around the drip line of each plant, NO MORE.  If you water the ground first, that will be helpful.  Then, after you have fed the plants, you can water that in gently.

            If you feel the shape of a given azalea needs some adjustment, then, I would suggest pruning it right after the plant finishes blooming, not before.  Look on the stem you wish to prune and you will find little nodes on the stem.  Prune just above one of those nodes, perhaps maybe only an eighth of an inch.  Then, the plant will know what to do.  If you wish the plant to bush out more away from its center, then, I would make the cut at a 45-degree angle with the high side of the cut on the outside, i.e. away from the center of the plant.

            George E. Klump
            Southern California Chapter, ARS/ASA  

                  

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