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Azalea japonica not growing right

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by mbbx5va2, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. mbbx5va2

    mbbx5va2 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi

    This azalea japonica, I had put acid soil at base before growing and was growing well. Not sure what happened now the pink flowers are really dry and not looking nice. Something is wrong

    Picture attached any thoughts

    Thx

    16231693963611454781659970546587.jpg
     
  2. luis_pr

    luis_pr Gardener

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    Hello, mbbx5va2. Can you elaborate some more about the symptoms that you observed and its care? Azalea blooms do not last very long so eventually they dry out. Blooms last about 2 weeks approximately. Just in case: review the basics: azaleas need morning sun and afternoon/evening shade; the soil should be well draining, acidic and kept as evenly moist as you can; inconsistent watering can dry out the blooms and leaves but do not let the soil get soggy or the plant may develop root rot; if you insert a finger into the soil to a depth of 10 cm, water if the soil feels dry or almost dry; when you water, the soil should feel moist down to a depth of 20 cms... if not, consider if you missed a spot when watering or if you are not using enough water; to conserve soil moisture, you can add organic mulch up to the drip line; the azalea root system is very shallow, about 10 cm deep and the roots are tiny and fibrous so they can be easily "disturbed" when transplanting; amend the soil regularly if the soil is alkaline but do not exceed product directions as many contain sulfur and that can burn the tiny azalea roots; I monitor the foliage for signs of iron chlorosis or use a soil pH kit to know when to amend; similarly, when fertilizing, do so when the soil is not dry and follow up with a little watering after fertilizing; too much fertilizer when the soil is dry dry can also be bad; azaleas should also be planted slightly above the soil line so be careful when adding soil that the roots do not end too deep.
     
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      Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
    • mbbx5va2

      mbbx5va2 Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for this. I have not been watering it as often - possibly twice a week or when I do water it then not enough. There was a point where the colour so intense that it was the first plant that drew my attention when I walked into the garden. It must have been blooming at this stage, since then it appears to have dried out. In terms of how the sun hits the garden in the morning or early afternoon there is no sun but then as late afternoon gets underway it gets sun.
      I will do that soil test and check. I have no mulch but I have bark chips if that would work to retain moisture.
      My soil PH testing instrument is broken so I may invest in something else to check the soil.
      I was wondering initially whether it was a problem caused by the weeds around the plant. (I think they are weeds anyway) lots of green plants around the plant. I pulled them out now though.
       
    • luis_pr

      luis_pr Gardener

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      If it gets sunlight exposure at the hottest time of the day during the summer months, I would monitor it often on its first few summers. The leaves may not tolerate a few hours of stron afternoon sun. I tried with another plant and had to take unusual steps like use shade cloth because the leaves did not like getting just even a few hours of sun from 11am-1pm (and I did not have a partly shaded spot to transplant it to).

      I too have to pull weeds around some of the hydrangeas and other plants with shallow roots. The hydrangea roots will compete with weeds and with other shallow rooted plants for water and nutrients.
       
    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      My guess is that flowering is over for this year and you need to concentrate on the new foliage that is now coming along.
      As long as that is nice and green I don't think you have a problem.
       
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      • Stuart Fawcett

        Stuart Fawcett Gardener

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        I have a similar orange plant, years of nursing it. I gave up last winter and moved it. It look much happier in a new location. Its now shaded from midday sun by a close-ish tree. Most plants seem pretty dormant and easy to move in the winter.
         
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