How Azaleas Thrive

Question From: S. Abernathy - GEORGIA
Q: We planted 2 small azaleas 2 years ago. They are the variety that are supposed to bloom twice a year. They have plenty of good morning sun but have not grown and did not bloom last year. They have only minimal leaves and only a few buds this spring. As far as I know, we have given them plenty of water, but they are definitely not thriving. What would you suggest?


Sally, I can only tell you what Azaleas prefer. In Georgia they need dappled shade. Shallow roots should be planted on organic rich well drained soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Composted bark, pine needles make good soil additions. They should be mulched with a good quality organic mulch - none of the red, black or brown painted stuff made of ground up pallets. The soil should be kept moderately moist. Temperatures over 90 degrees will set them back. Planting them in areas that provide shade in the afternoon helps. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy