Re: [AZ] Question
- 5 October 2013
I touched on that problem, too, though I suggested just taking a hose and blowing off as much of the potting soil as possible.
However, the real problem down in Garden Grove is the heavy adobe clay soil. Water runs off the top of it instead of penetrating it and any which does penetrate it doesn't drain away. So I suggested replanting the azalea along the lines our boys who live where that soil vein goes down the coast have to do. Just dig the hole perhaps double or even triple the width of the root ball and, then, go from there. That's why so many of our group use the coarse peat moss, perlite and shredded redwood bark mixture. It lasts for years without breaking down and permits the little feeder roots to go out horizontally away from the plant. The only hope for this kind of heavy clay soil is gypsum spread liberally a couple of time a year.
George E. Klump
Southern California Chapter, ARS/ASA
On 10/5/2013 2:16 AM, Mike Creel wrote:
ubject:Re: [AZ] QuestionFrom:Mike Creel <mikeacreel@...>Date:10/4/2013 11:50 AMTo:"email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>CC:msbonzai <msbonzai@...>The most likely reason for this wilting is that you did not properly separate the probably rootbound rootball (roots dense and in shape of container) so that there is good contact of the roots on all sides with the soil in the newly planted site, Planting a rootbound, aka potbound, azalea creates a dry well in the compacted rootball whereby moisture is wicked away from the roots by the surrounding soil. If this is the case you need to dig up the plants, dip the root ball in a bucket of water and carefully spread the roots with your fingers and a 3 pronged cultivator (I use a plastic one) taking care to break as few roots as possible. Then replant the azalea, mixing the roots with the new soil.
IF the azalea was well planted and not rootbound, then you could be overwatering. Make a cup sized hole in the soil near the azaleas, fill it with water and notice whether the water drains from the hole quickly or slowly. If the soil stays saturated then you should reduce watering and possibly replant the azaleas higher after amending the soil with pine bark soil conditioner.
My guess is that you planted rootbound azaleas.
Mike Creel, SC USDA Zone 8a
Lexington, South Carolina
From: msbonzai <msbonzai@...>
Sent: Friday, October 4, 2013 10:48 AM
Subject: [AZ] Question
[this is from the ASK US page, so please send me a CC]I currently planted 2 azaleas a few weeks ago. Planted in ground with good compost and a small hand full of E.B.Organics for Azaleas as told to do by nursery.The plant is a good size (5 gal). I live in zone 9 garden grove, ca.) Both are under pepper trees but do get partial sun throughout day and I keep them well watered.Myquestion: the azalea was full and happy when purchased, now the leaves are sagging and it doesnt have that full look anymore. I keep it watered and I put mulch as told.I felt like I did everything asked and its not happy. Please help.All my hurts my garden spade can heal. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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- Personal experience many years ago: our church at the time had a large patch of totally overgrown azaleas, hanging over the driveway and full of dead material. My wife and I cut them by about 2/3 and got rid of the dead stuff. We were almost ejected from the grounds committee for "killing the beautiful azaleas"--until the next Spring. Lovely bloom, leaves, growth!DaveOn Nov 6, 2013, at 9:33 PM, Jim Patsy wrote:As a home owner,I agree with John and I gave up on the 1/3 business years ago.Why have an ugly plant for 3+ years?Jim
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On Nov 7, 2013, at 10:21 AM, John Migas <azaleajohn@...> wrote:Hello to all,To start out, pruning depends on who's doing it.As for the nursery grower, pruning well before the bloom is a good thing, being that the nursery grower isn't looking to sell that plant in the spring. I prune plants way before the season starts, allowing all the energy for new growth, and I don't plan on selling the plant that season. I may even prune it a second time usually around early, early summer.As for the homeowner/gardener, pruning should be done after theplant blooms, unless blooms are not an issue. As for having overgrown plants, by hacking them down to the ground, doesn't matter about 1/3 or 2/3 of it, this sever pruning will most likely have a very poor pruduction of bud set the first year, but the second year should be awesome.I've witnessed a field of 40 year old mature azaleas mowed to the ground by a brush-hog recover in 2 years and one would never know it. I've also witnessed 50 year old rhodies busted to the ground by tree/storm damage and the plants look better than ever.Here in Michigan, we get snow damage every year and the plantssurvive. We also get natural pruning to the ground by the deer, and the plants thrive afterward. Mother nature does best for the plants, and one doesn't ask her to do it. It brings out the beast and then it heals.In closing, don't be afraid to prune, but be patient..........John Migas(Michigan)From: George Klump <mixturev@...>
Cc: "rhodyman@..." <rhodyman@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: [AZ] RE: Question
On 11/6/2013 1:54 PM, rhodyman@... wrote:ubject:RE: RE: [AZ] RE: QuestionFrom:mailto:rhodyman@...Date:11/6/2013 1:53 PMTo:mailto:email@example.comSorry I lost my point when I picked a term that has emotion with it.What I meant by selfish is that pruning after bloom only benefits the people that look at the plant and serves no benefit to the plant. I meant it in the technical sense, not moral sense. I doubt if anyone can find a reason why it benefits a plant to let it bloom before pruning it, especially since the pruning is before seed is produced.I didn't mean to imply that people that prune after bloom are doing anything wrong. I do it and I tell other people to do it.I discussed this with staff members at the National Arboretum and they suggest that for severe pruning, that one remove 1/3 each year but do it by removing 1/3 of the large branches each year and doing it in March so that the plant has 2 more months of regrowth. It has nothing to do with the bloom, it is entirely about the additional time after the pruning. They consider this very important. I still agree with Harold. In practical terms it is normally better to prune either severely or otherwise after the azalea has bloomed. It doesn't take months for the plants to harden off for winter.
Their azaleas have 2 major growth spurts, one in March/April and another in May/June. They want to take advantage of both. At the National Arboretum the severe pruning this spring removed just about every leaf so it was important that the new regrowth have the best chance of taking advantage of both growth spurts and hardening off before winter. It was the first time that most of the plants had ever been pruned and the USDA only had money to do it once and done. They brought in a large crew and completed it in a timely manner. It was not a routine pruning. We've noticed over the years that most of the rhododendron family, which includes azaleas, of course, tend to expand their root structures in the autumn time. Satsuki's tend to be late bloomers as a group, so what the National Arboretum did because of budget constraints wouldn't really work well for most of the azaleas with which we've ever come in contact. Besides, it was our understanding that the NA had a special problem with unkempt azaleas over many acres.
The person that had asked the question on line here was in a similar predicament that they wanted to do a severe pruning and not just use the 3 year plan. They weren't enjoying much bloom anyway and they may have gotten a beautiful blooming plant the next year.You are entirely right in saying that enjoying our plants beauty before pruning in no way harms our plants but in some rare cases there may be in an advantage to foregoing the bloom if the plants are going to be severely pruned. It would have been better for the National Arboretum to spread their pruning over 3 years and they could have done it after the bloom each year, but since they had the constraint to do it in one concentrated time, they way they did it was better. I will have to go back next spring and see how it turned out. Don Hyatt thought it was handled as well as could be expected under the restraints they had. The NA was a special case, as you have said, which I would not want to see adopted generally for private gardens. If pruning is done as Harold suggested, I don't see that there would be any real problem with any kind of azalea assuming it is otherwise properly cared for.George E. KlumpSouthern California Chapter, ARS/ASA
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