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How to Properly Care for a Swamp Azalea Plant

Swamp azalea, Rhododendron viscosum, is perennial shrub azalea that grows in USDA zones 3 through 9. The plant has flowers that are white or light pink. The plant can grow to anywhere from 6 to 10 feet in height and width. The swamp azalea is fragrant and blooms in the spring and into the summer in some areas.

Keep swamp azalea in fertile soil that is always moist. If it can’t be placed in an area that has these conditions, add seaweed meal to the soil to add humus and keep the soil watered two to three times a week.

Allow the roots to sit at surface level. When planting a swamp azalea, plant it close to the surface to allow surface rooting. The roots should not be planted more than 12 inches below the surface.

Place mulch over the roots of your swamp azalea. This will help to hold the plant in place while it takes root and it will inhibit weeds that can force it to compete for nutrients. Mulch also keeps moisture in the soil, giving the swamp azalea an environment closer to their native wetlands.

Watch the plant for any white spots. Powdery mildew is a problem for the swamp azalea. If you find a leaf or shoot that has small white speckles, it's infected with this plant disease. Remove all parts of the plant that are infected.

Keep partial or dappled sunlight on your swamp azalea. They may wither in full sunlight, and full shade is not enough light. If possible, keep trees near enough to the azalea to allow it some shade while letting some light through.

Treat your plant for aphids, lace bugs, caterpillars and any other bugs that are seen often on the plant.

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