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How to Grow Gumpo Azaleas

By Dawn Gibbs
Gumbo azaleas come in shades of pink or white.
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The Gumpo azalea is a late-flowering azalea variety that blooms in the early summer. It is a short, evergreen shrub that reaches about 2 feet in height. The plant produces white flowers speckled with pink, or fully pink or white flowers. Growing these azaleas is easy; their only special requirement is an acidic fertilizer to produce the proper pH in the soil.

Select a site that receives full sun to partial shade and has well-draining soil. Choose the site in the early spring, just after the last frost.

Dig a hole in your planting site that is twice as wide as the azalea's container and just as deep. Reserve the soil in a wheelbarrow. Pour a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic compost into the wheelbarrow and mix it in with your shovel.

Remove the Gumpo azalea from its existing container and lower it into the hole. The top of the roots should be level with the soil surface. Fill the hole with the soil and compost mixture. Firm the soil after each shovelful that you add to prevent air pockets from forming. Water until the soil settles.

Cover the planting site with a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as pine needles or wood chips. Do not let the mulch touch the base of the plant.

Water the plant once a week to establish a deep root system. Water the soil directly instead of spraying the water onto the plant.

Apply one application of an acidic fertilizer to the soil, according to package directions, after the plant begins to bloom in the late spring or early summer.

Use gardening shears to remove any damaged or crossed branches after the bloom is over in the late summer.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Organic compost
  • Acidic fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Pruning shears

About the Author

 

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on GreenDaily.com and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.