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Azeleas

Discussion in 'Gardening Discussions' started by ridgiemum, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. ridgiemum

    ridgiemum Gardener

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    Any Azelea experts here?
    I rescued 7 from the garden centre skip 2 years ago... And planted them last August. They went into a newly created bed with lots of ericaceous compost.... They were very pot bound but I loosened off all the roots.....
    They don't seem to have grown at all... And barely flowered this year....
    Considering just digging them up as they were meant to be a mini hedge....
    Am I just not being patient enough?
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Morning ridgiemum :)

      Is your soil acidic? You added “lots of ericaceous compost” but if your soil is neutral or alkaline those azaleas will struggle
      They don’t like to be mulched too thickly either......
      You may be a tad impatient .....if they look healthy then see what happens next spring :)
       
    • ridgiemum

      ridgiemum Gardener

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      Um... Dunno what my soil is..... Went to Dobbies for a kit and the man said I didn't need one if they were doing well, they were in the right soil and if they weren't, they weren't! Hydrangea in the same row is doing well, fuschias also flourishing......
      Mulched? Um... Nope!
      A tad ??? Ha ha ha ... I want it all looking pretty NOW!!!
       
    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      What colour Hydrangeas there ridgiemum ? If pink or red you have alkaline soil, if blue you have acidic soil. If the former, your azaleas will struggle for sure
      Odd advice from Dobbies? Important to know what type of soil you have.:)
       
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      • ridgiemum

        ridgiemum Gardener

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        And if the hydrangea is White?
         
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        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Ha ha....white hydrangeas will stay white on any soil ridgiemum :noidea:
          Do your neighbours grows azaleas, camellias etc?
          It’s not about how good your soil is at all....it’s simply that azaleas do need an acid soil.
           
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            Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
          • ridgiemum

            ridgiemum Gardener

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            no immediate neighbours and our soil is unique as it used to be a field..
             
          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Ok ridgiemum......can’t keep saying this. :)
            Unique or not, good or not, your soil must be acidic to grow azaleas.
            My own back garden used to be a market garden years ago, I guess you could say mine is unique too, but it still has a PH....acid, alkaline rating.
            A friend of mine has acid soil except for a field where lime has been added over the years thus making it impossible to grow azaleas for example:sad:
            I can’t grow azaleas, rhododendrons etc in my soil....only in containers of line free soil....but it is good soil for growing most everything else:)
             
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            • Mike Allen

              Mike Allen Total Gardener

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              pH for Azalea 4.5 to 6.0

              7.0 being neutral

              Blue Hydrangea 4.0 to 5.0 pH
              Pink ditto 6.0 to 7.0
              White ditto 6.5 to 8.0

              So the white one should cope with acidic & alkaline.

              If you intend growing several azaleas, then a pH soil test is well worth while.
               
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              • Nikolaos

                Nikolaos Gardener

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                Also very important to know if your soil is sandy, chalky, loamy, clay, heavy clay, excessively wet etc @ridgiemum :)

                Nick
                 
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                • Mike Allen

                  Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                  Yes Nick. However, sandy, chalky and clay soils are all included in the alkaline pH above 7.0
                  Efforts to lower the pH, thus rendering the alkalinity to a more acidic value becomes variable. For instance, sany soil is much more porous and chemical treatments are taken up quicker etc.

                  For the benefit of our friend 'ridgiemum' and the average gardener, my advice is to select where you intend to plant your azaleas, rhododendrons or whatever and thoroughly prepare the ground. As I mentioned elswhere on GC. You could spend a lifetime taking pH reading around your garden. You will probably end up with a very long list of readings.

                  Taking into account previous plantings. Imported soil etc. It is interesting to note. The I.O.W for instance is in a manner of speaking, very well planted with the aformentioned shrubs, acid lovers, yet in most places, less than half a spade depth and you are on chalk.

                  Now't so strange as gardening.
                   
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                  • Nikolaos

                    Nikolaos Gardener

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                    @Mike Allen Thank you my kind and affable friend, very interesting! :smile: Yes, we often say we "have the same soil" but perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be "very similar". All very location-specific, I think, including different parts of one's garden. :)

                    Nick
                     
                  • ridgiemum

                    ridgiemum Gardener

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                  • ridgiemum

                    ridgiemum Gardener

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                    Thanks all... Growing them because they were free. Not even sure I like them... So I'll just dig them up.. Can they be composted?
                     
                  • ridgiemum

                    ridgiemum Gardener

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                    Heavy clay is the answer to this, I think... About two feet down its terracotta coloured... And if I take a handful and squeeze, it compresses into a solid ball, reckon I could make pots with it!
                     
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