Posted on February 8, 2012
Azaleas are spectacular, bright flowering shrubs in the Spring. They grow lovely flowers in colors that range from white and pink to yellow and orange. Azaleas are commonly used in landscaping with mixed shrub plantings. Some people even enjoy their potted azalea indoors. Despite the large variety of this plant and its clear beauty, Azaleas can be difficult to successfully grow. They usually do best in moderate temperatures and do best in areas that are very well shaded. The Azalea will not successfully grow in alkaline soil, instead preferring in slightly acid or ‘ericaceous’ soil with a pH between a 1 and a 7, for example peaty soil.
In order to create a proper soil content it is important to amend the beds with a composted material and a refined pine mulch product known as soil conditioner. These amendments are then tilled and mixed into the existing soils to create an ericaceous soil bed. Soil that azaleas are planted in must always be moist. It is important to maintain the right amount of moisture. Too much water can easily water-log the roots, killing the plant. This could happen because of a lack of drainage in the area that the azalea was planted. A common solution to this drainage issue is to have raised beds built to aid in the drainage. The azalea can die from lack of water just as easily. The soil must be damp to the touch at all times. If the soil feels dry to the touch, then your azalea may be at risk of dying from lack of water.
If these important steps are followed, azaleas will thrive in their new home. Most other ornamental evergreen and/or flowering deciduous plants will also benefit from the soil amending process. This is the way to create beautiful and healthy ornamental gardens for your pleasure.