Ladybird Landscapes - Azalea madness and pleasure in the Highway
Ladybird Landscapes - Azalea madness and pleasure in the Highway

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Ladybird Landscapes - Azalea madness and pleasure in the Highway


This year we have had the most incredible display of daietes that I can remember and now we are blessed with the late blooming Azaleas.  Perhaps this will help you look after these delightful plants which joyfully grow in our area â€" also:  scroll down to see how to keep a display of these delightful blooms in a vase in your home.


Azaleas prefer acidic soil and this is achieved through the use of matured cow manure and milled pinebark or peatgro (peat). These should be mixed in equal quantities and added to the soil used to refill the planting hole. Azaleas are not deep rooted and their planting hole must not be deeper than 45cm. The hole should be 45cm wide. Ensure that their feeding roots are just below ground level. 


It is essential that azaleas have good drainage and receive adequate water during hot and/or dry weather. One good soaking a week is recommended and care must be taken that the shallow feeder roots are not exposed or damaged. It is advisable to moisten the foliage on very hot days.


This is one of the most important aspects of growing azaleas successfully. Mulch is typically an approximately 5cm thick protective layer of coarse plant material that may include compost, peatmoss, bark or pine needles that is placed on the ground around the plants stem. The advantages of mulching include the reduction of the temperature of the soil which in turn saves water due to the lowering of evaporation rates. The area mulched should correspond to the width of the plant above ground. Do not use groundcover plants as mulch. Remember to renew your mulch as it decomposes.


Azaleas are naturally slow growing and therefor are not fast feeders. These plants are slow continuous feeders and the application of a small amount of liquid seaweed emulsion (Nitrosol or Seagro) regularly through the growing season would be sufficient for their needs.  Apply a solution of comprehensive fertilizer at three week intervals if the leaves yellow during the growing period until the natural green reappears.

Perceived challenges

Older plants may develop a lichen-like fungal growth on the older stems and branches. â€" do Google Lichen â€" you will find that it is a sign of a healthy air environment; so rather change your focus and thank the Lord you live in such an area than looking at it as an unsightly challenge

Container care

There are a few simple rules to follow if you want to grow azaleas in containers. Do not plant a small plant in a big container because these plants are slow growing and therefore do not need much space for their roots.

You should use soil that is a mixture of approximately equal parts of compost, potting soil and garden soil. Include a layer of bark or stone at the bottom of the pot to aid drainage.

Remember to add a handful of super phosphate into each container. Mix it into the soil thoroughly and water regularly with a mixture of seaweed emulsion from the beginning of September until the end of February. Apply this feeding in small regular doses and don't forget to mulch. Keep the container in a shady well ventilated position.

Trim lightly after flowering to maintain a balanced shape so that the new shape is developed while the plant is producing new growth. Try to form as large a crown as possible if you are growing them as standards so that the main stems are shaded by the well-developed crown. Keep competing side-stems pruned so that the plant does not lose its standard shape.

Azaleas in a vase â€" they are so rewarding!


Fill a clean container with warm tap water before cutting azalea flowers. Cut the flower in the morning, after the dew has dried but before the heat of the day. Choose azaleas that have just begun to flower, but avoid those that have completely opened because they will fade more quickly.


Cut the flowers with bypass shears to avoid crushing the stem. Leave approximately 6 inches of stem attached to each bloom. Immediately place the cut stem in the water.


Mix a floral preservative (bleach will also do) with water at 110 degrees Fahrenheit in a clean vase or display container, using the amount of water and preservative directed on the package.


Strip the leaves off the azalea stem. Cut off the bottom 1 inch of each stem at a slight angle while holding the stem underwater. This prevents air bubbles from entering the stem. Transfer the stems to the vase and arrange the flowers.


Place the vase in a spot where the temperature is 55 to 60 F until the water cools. Display the azaleas in bright but indirect light but move them back to the cool location at night, when possible.


Replace the water and preservative every two days -- or sooner, if it becomes discolored. Dispose of azalea flowers as they wilt and die to help prolong the life of the remaining blooms.

 Have fun â€" regards all at Ladybird Landscapes


Ladybird Landscapes - Azalea madness and pleasure in the Highway

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