Optional – If you have an Andromeda in an exposed area and you get a January thaw with the temperature above 40 degrees, you can spray the plant with an anti-transpirant spray that helps protect the plant’s dessication by the wind. If you sprayed the plant a few months ago, it could use a second coat, so to speak; but the temp must be above 40. See "antitranspirant spray" Yardener’s Tool Shed for more information.
Andromeda – Depending on the variety, some Japanese Andromedas bloom as early as February and last well into April or even longer. Many are slightly fragrant
Andromeda – Tender new spring foliage of Andromeda is at risk in northern climates. It is often damaged by late spring frosts. If a frost is expected, drape white polyspun agricultural fleece ("floating row cover") on the vulnerable shrubs overnight.
The main ornamental feature of this shrub are the white flowers in terminal racemes. Flowers are sometimes injured by frosts. The new leaves are bronze colored and can be ornamental. Andromeda blossoms are not allergenic but both the flowers and the leaves of this plant are poisonous.
Desireable early on and then optional after five years -
Feed Andromedas once a year. In either the fall or early spring sprinkle a handful or two of a slow-acting granular fertilizer formulated for acid loving plants on the soil at the base of each shrub. Spread it out to 1-1/2 feet beyond the tips of the branches for the rain to water into the soil
Andromeda –Optional - Remove the flower heads before seed forms.
Optional - Andromeda do not require pruning except to remove dead, broken or diseased branches and to lightly shape the shrub. While these shrubs are naturally compact, they can be judiciously pruned to reduce their size. Do this immediately after they are finished flowering. Clip individual branch tips with sharp hand pruners to maintain a natural look. Do not shear these shrubs uniformly.
Andromeda - If your Andromeda is not thriving, check out these site problems. Avoid planting andromedas near shallow-rooted trees such as elm, oak or maple though, that compete aggressively with them for available water. The ideal location also protects andromeda foliage from the effects of harsh cold north winds and winter sun. IF this is the case, you can move your shrub almost any time, but fall is the best.
Optional - All shrubs do best when the soil under their drip line is mulched with 2 to 3 inches of organic material of some kind.
Andromeda – As kids are playing more outside remember that all parts of Andromeda are extremely poisonous. Children have died from eating the leaves.
Andromeda roots are shallow and do appreciate moist soil, especially the first year while they are getting established. Water generously and regularly after they are first planted and just before the ground freezes in the fall. Supplemental watering is not necessary for well-established shrubs unless there is a drought.
Andromeda – Just as with other plants on the property, shrubs are vulnerable to heat and drought of the summer months. They need to be watered if there has been no rain for two weeks.
Andromeda – If this shrub is under a overhanging tree it is competing with that tree for water, so this month is a time to be especially careful to make sure this shallow rooted shrub doesn’t get thirsty.
Andromeda – Desirable in first few years and optional after five years - Feed Andromedas once a year. In either the fall or early spring sprinkle a handful or two of a slow-acting granular fertilizer formulated for acid loving plants on the soil at the base of each shrub. Spread it out to 1-1/2 feet beyond the tips of the branches for the rain to water into the soil.
Fall Planting of Andromeda - Andromedas will grow in shade, but they need some sunshine to encourage flowering. A location that is sunny in the morning but offers protection from the hot afternoon sun in summer is ideal. These shrubs require moist, well-drained soil that is acid (pH 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal). Acidify low-acid soil by adding peat moss, powdered sulfur or even used coffee grounds to it periodically. See the file in yardener.com; key words "Dealing With Acidic Soils"
Andromeda – Optional - An option if your shrub has been previously damaged by frost or freezing is to spray the foliage with an anti-transpirant spray in the fall and repeat during a milder period (40F.) in mid winter to protect it from harsh winds and bright winter sun.
Andromeda – Optional - Tender new spring foliage of Andromeda is at risk in northern climates. It is often damaged by late spring frosts. Minimize the danger by erecting a burlap windscreen near the shrub. Do not wrap the shrubs and inhibit necessary air circulation.