RE: [AZ] Azalea Fertilizer [3 Attachments]
Wow, there is definitely some diversity of conclusions. I appreciate your advice, though. Thanks.
[Attachment(s) from Harold Greer included below]
I certainly believe in using more fertilizer than many on this forum. Though with the soil you are growing in, you may not need much fertilizer, though I disagree with the fact that azaleas don’t need a fairly high level of nutrients. I don’t think a blanket statement should be made “that azaleas need little fertilizer”. I am attaching some pictures I took of azaleas with and without the proper level of nutrients. I say nutrients, not fertilizer though they are somewhat the same.
Take a look at the pictures and tell me that proper nutrition is not important. The labels on the pictures explain what they are showing. Of course these pictures were taken during the growing season with a rapid acting fertilizer.
Yes, we use a lot of ground bark and wood which requires nitrogen, but still most soils require some fertilizer. I have never liked cottonseed meal, though it may work for some. Dilute concentration given more often seems better than strong amounts. You do not have to wait until after the azaleas flower to fertilize them. For now 50 years I have fertilized azaleas before they flower. In fact Oregon State University did an extensive study a few years ago that said the best fertilizing timing was once in the winter after the plants went dormant, one in the early spring, and once in the early summer. Of course those of you with soil frozen in the winter have to wait until the soil thaws. It makes no difference when the plants bloom, because some flower early and some later. All that matters is that the nutrient level be kept at a correct point.
Thank you for your response, George. Our ground is usually covered in a blanket of snow most of the winter. I’m in 5b. I’ll follow your advice and apply some cottonseed meal at your suggested interval and strength.
Any good organic fertilizer will work. Just do not do it too often. Here we can do it at Easter, Fourth of July and Labor Day. And we use cottonseed meal. However, your climate dictates a shorter growing season, so make sure that your first application of fertilizer is at the end of your freezing time in the spring and maybe back up the Labor Day application about two weeks to the middle of August. If you are able to get cottonseed meal there, John, put about a cupful around each plant and water it in gently.
AND be sure that you keep water in the root zone during your coldest times during the winter, since cold winds will pull water out of the soil and leave the roots without water which they will need to avoid being dried out in the cold weather. That will shock them and very likely kill them.
George E. KIlump
Southern California Chapter, ARS/ASA
On 3/12/2013 12:13 PM, Nicholas Yarmoshuk wrote:
William's advice is well taken . . . .. just be absolutely certain that aluminum sulphate is NOT one of the ingredients.
St. Catharines near Niagara Falls Canada.
On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM, John CCP <johnccp@...> wrote:
What is the best azalea fertilizer and with what frequency for coastal York County, Maine?
- Harold Greer wrote:
> [Attachment(s) <#TopText> from Harold Greer included below]Hi Harold,
> I certainly believe in using more fertilizer than many on this forum.
> Though with the soil you are growing in, you may not need much
> fertilizer, though I disagree with the fact that azaleas don’t need a
> fairly high level of nutrients. I don’t think a blanket statement
> should be made “that azaleas need little fertilizer”. I am attaching
> some pictures I took of azaleas with and without the proper level of
> nutrients. I say nutrients, not fertilizer though they are somewhat the
You've said what I have spoken about for some time: NUTRIENTS are
needed and you don't know WHAT they are until after a soil test. My
soil is hard-pan clay contractor fill that supports only moss and a few
hardy weeds (and, yes, spring is here as the weeds are greening up in my
yard!). Others, on the other side of the county (in the western part of
Fairfax County, VA) can put a dead stick in the ground and it will
flower the next year. They will loudly proclaim that "you don't need
fertilizer", which is the truth, for them. But if you're not so
fortunate then a soil test will tell you what you DO need and what
should be added to the soil mix. If it is very water soluble or lapped
up aggressively by the growing plant: then add it regularly.