The very popular azalea shrub is a spring-flowering plant, which basically belongs to the rhododendron species. Its deciduous variety has red, orange, or yellow petals while its evergreen type usually has pastel-colored blooms.
Azalea Flower – An Overview of the Vibrant Blossoms
Although azalea flower prefers areas with bright yet filtered sunlight, they are still known to thrive in cold provided that ample protection is given during winter. Even the hottest spots of the south could still be a venue for azalea gardening. Usually, such plant is grown on the fall or springtime seasons. When planting, it is important that the soil is loose, well-drained, and composed of organic matter. This can be done by initially digging a hole, filling it with enough water, and then mounding it up to create a simple raised planting bed. After this, some compost are then added to make it organic. Since the roots of the azalea flower tend to spread out, it is vital that the soil is prepared for upto 12-inch deep.
Azalea Care – Fundamental Guidelines
One of the basic considerations in azalea care is being able to water the plant every week during the dry weather period. Here, the soil needs to be kept moist, however, not saturated and the plant has to be pruned as soon as the blossoms are gone. Aside from that, proper mulching needs to be done to reduce the use of fertilizers. Nonetheless, fertilization must be done moderately in order to preserve its roots. In addition to that, azalea care further involves being able to properly handle pest problems such as the infestation of caterpillars that defoliate the plant, lace bugs that turn its leaves white or yellow, stunt nematodes that attack its roots, petal blights that ruins that flowers, and the twig blights that wilt its branches.
Pruning Azaleas – Basic Tips
The perfect time in pruning azaleas is during the early period of spring when it still has no new growths. Through this, the plant is given the complete growing season for which it could mature prior to winter season. Another excellent opportunity for pruning is when the plant is in bloom since it allows you to enjoy its beautiful blossoms too. Usually, pruning azaleas involve the use of clean cutters that are regularly sterilized during the progress of work. Older azaleas which have plenty of tall branches could be eliminated once a year, over a 3-year cycle, so that shock to the shrub can be reduced. This can be performed by annually removing 2 or 3 of its tallest branches by cutting it close to the side branch, and eventually, new growths can then be noticed near the plant’s base which lets you shape the bush easily and effectively.