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Caring for some Sickly Azaleas in the Garden

This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsHummingbird PlantSome or all parts of this plant may be toxic or poisonousWhite flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plantorange flowering plantA photograph of Azaleas is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper April 18,1998 Lisa wrote: Hi! Help, I live about 100 miles inland from the Oregon Coast, I purchased about twenty azaleas last spring and planted them just as the directions said to. They are getting some morning sun and shade in the hot afternoon. The soil is pretty full of clay around my home though I have never had it tested. Most of my azaleas look very sparse. They are spindly and have few leaves, I see the blooms are starting but they look sickly also. The leaves that are on the plants have a sort of rust color to them. What is happening? Not all of them look like this but most do. The weather was very light during the winter, it does rain a lot here... Please can you help me? Sincerely, Lisa
An Orange Exbury Azalea Blooming in the Garden

Growing requirements of Azalea Plants

Azaleas can be very fussy about their growing conditions.. They MUST have acid soil with a Ph of 5.0 to 6.5. They do NOT like clay soils. The first thing I would do would be to get your Ph tested. There are inexpensive test kits available, which will easily and quickly tell you the Ph of your soil. Many nurseries will test your Ph for free. If the soil is alkaline at all, your Azaleas will be unable to access the necessary nutrients and elements vital to their health. It will be necessary for you to add a considerable amount of peat moss, and other organic matter to the soil. The addition of the course builders sand,peat moss, ground bark, sawdust, compost, or other organic amendments will also help to break up the clay texture, and help to aerate the soil. Be sure to feed your Azaleas with an acid type Rhododendron fertilizer.. When you plant Azaleas or Rhododendrons, they should be placed in the ground so that their root ball is slightly higher than the surrounding soil. They will not do well if soil is pushed up against the trunk. (Could this be the problem?) For more information about planting and growing Azaleas, CLICK HERE

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