How to Grow Healthy Azaleas

Views: 17112 | Last Update: 2009-07-30
How to Grow Healthy Azaleas - Provided by eHow
Healthy azaleas can be grown in a raised bed underneath a canopy of pine trees, as they need moisture but will rot out if the ground is too wet. Learn the tricks to growing azaleas with helpful tips from a sustainable gardener in this free video on... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and next we're going to talk about how to grow healthy azaleas. Now I love azaleas and rhododendrons, and azalea is in the rhododendron family, so they're all related. And I grew up on Mt. Hood and in the woods we had my parent's house we had lots of rhododendrons naturally growing and they were just gorgeous. So when you are growing them in your garden you've got to remember their natural conditions. They like mountains. I'm convinced they will not grow well next to a lake. I lived next to Lake Vancouver for a while and tried to grow them in the muck and they just rotted right out so even if you live next to a lake or you have really clay really dense soil make raised beds with lots of organic material. They grow in the canopy of the pine trees in North America so they really like lots of moisture and they are growing right on the pine needles and the leaves from the deciduous trees. So they're not really even growing in soil they're kind of growing just in that mulch so raise them up and give them lots of mulch and lots and lots of drainage. So the trick with azaleas is they want to be moist and never dry but yet they need good drainage and they want to grow where there is lots of mulch and where you know the water just flows right out and they want some humidity. They don't do well in real desert conditions but they're easy to grow as long as you give them lots of water and a lot of times, if you live in a really hot climate hot sun will fry them so put them in part shade or underneath some other trees and they'll do really well. The thing I like about azaleas is they are very forgiving so even if they get sunburned or they get ratty just trim them down and they love to be trimmed. The more that you trim them the better they do. Now they say the best time to trim them down is in early Spring when they have started to set buds and they are still kind of lanky and then you kind of even it all out maybe cutting a third of it down and then the blooms that are remaining become stronger and going to fill it up but my attitude is prune plants when you get the chance because I don't do anything on a schedule I can't keep up so if I look outside and it looks a little bit ratty I just kind of trim it down and even it out and as soon as the blooms are done too the best thing you can do is pinch them off. Some people say cut them off or pinch them off right as they turn dry and then that way you'll get more blooms for the next year but my attitude about most plants is they grow in the forest without anyone pinching them down or anyone really taking care of them as long as they get the moisture and the right conditions they'll do well in your garden just as they do in the wild.