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Re: [AZ] Fwd: need advise please

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  • George Klump
    ... 4 September 2013 Greetings, Judy, In terms of azaleas there are essentially no blues which come to my mind, though there are some purples and variations
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 4, 2013
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      On 9/4/2013 3:32 PM, Bob Stelloh wrote:
      rom: Judy Hatton <judyhatton@...>
        Subject: need advise please
        Date: September 4, 2013 5:51:55 PM EDT
        To: azaleas-owner@...
        I have a large yard with a very big, old live oak tree and two pink dogwoods. My zone is 8b.
        I've had great success with azaleas and rhodys in the past.
        I've had to tear up a large portion of the yard for leach line installation.
        There's now mound about 12 ft. x 2 or 3 ft. where I'd like to put some azaleas
        As it's in front of my house I'd really love rebloomers. I think they should be one type of plant in different colors, or do you have other ideas.
        I was thinking of blues and violets or going from very light to darker gentle colors of peach. I like spreaders but that may not work here.
        I'm open to whatever you think might look good from maybe 40 ft away.
        I tried to join but the form that came up wouldn't allow me to enter information. It's probably user error, I'm on a mac. I'll try again.
      4 September 2013
      Greetings, Judy,

      In terms of azaleas there are essentially no blues which come to my mind, though there are some purples and variations thereof.  And you mention azaleas which rebloom.  There are some and there are many which spot bloom most of the year, too, as well as putting on their big display in the spring.  Many azaleas are upright in growth, some quite compact, others not so much.  Then, there are azaleas which spread, too.  I can offer you a mixture of these and you can choose for yourself.  Generally speaking, I would tend toward the Satsuki azaleas and some of their hybrids for long blooming azaleas and some which spot bloom most of the year. 

      One of the best which blooms a good share of the time at least in my garden is the Hirado hybrid, "Shakunan".  As I write this it is in another huge flush of flowers all over the bush.  Normally, it blooms or at least spot blooms generously probably 10 months of the year here in my yard.  That may not be exactly the way it would behave for you, but this is what it does for me.  And it takes the sun very well. 

      Here are some suggestions.

      Yama-no-hikari: tends to be deep pink with stripes and sometimes with solid colors and it's a spreader.
      Tama-no-hada: the one in my garden has the largest flowers of any in the entire variety so it is claimed.  The flowers go from solid white to white with pink stripes, sometimes solid pink.  Mine has an open growth. 
      Ukiguma-no-tsuki: like the Tama-no-hada, this Satsuki  moves out from its basic white to orange, red and pink, sometimes mottled.  It's a bit slower than some others, but it is bushy. 
      Shiko: another spreader which is basically lavender, but has darker stripes on some flowers all of which are large.  It spreads and is bushy.
      Kusudama: this one is variegated,  Sometimes it is pink, sometimes it is speckled, sometimes it has stripes and sometimes it's a solid white or has a white throat with a pink border.  It is quite vigorous and spreading.

      You might want to contact Tom Nuccio at Nuccio's Nurseries in Altadena, California.  He has possibly the largest collection of first-class azaleas of the type you are looking for, some of them he has hybridized into spectacular colors.  I have his "Purple Dragon" and it is blooming right at this moment. . . .still.  It seems one need only make sure it has plenty of water and it seems to bloom endlessly.  As for feeding them, we tend to go easy on that.  Three times annually is about all they need.  Our schedule is Easter, Fourth of July and Labor Day.  That way we don't forget.  We also use cottonseed meal, since it is organic, is slow to release and does not burn the plants.  Personally, I just make sure the ground around the plants is wet and, then, take a cupful of cottonseed meal and spread it around the drip line of the plant and water it in very gently.  Over time this seems to help the soil, too. 

      The colors you should probably stay away from are those of the salmon variety, since they do not take sunlight very well at all.  They tend to fade no matter what initial beauty they may offer the first day or two.  Those are just some ideas offered here for your consideration.  There are many other plants, too.  However, if you want them to spread and/or they are larger, then, I would not plant them any closer than perhaps 4 feet on center, since they will begin to interfere with each other as that grow.  So allow some space for them to grow and spread.

      George E. Klump
      Southern California Chapter, ARS/ASA  

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