I bought 2 Azalea's when I lived in MS - they were quite small. I moved to MN 3 years ago (in March) and planted them in my garden in the spring. They are in part sun/part shade (more shade than sun I guess). I am wondering, in three years, they have not died, have not grown, have not flowered...nothing. No new growth but no dead leaves either.
Should I move them? Should I feed them? If so, what do I feed them?
Thank you in advance. I've never had them before - but after 3 years I would think they would "do something".
Azaleas can usually grow in zones 7-9 but only few can prosper in zones 4-6. It sounds like your shrubs are not winter hardy; that is, they are not able to withstand the cold winters. Some azalea varieties flat out die when exposed to too much cold; others return every Spring but are unable to bloom. The flower buds that azaleas develop in July-August get dried out by the dessecating winter winds or get killed by the low temperatures.
In order to protect the flower buds, you will need to apply winter protection techniques or you will need to grow them in pots that you bring inside during winter. For example, you could surround the azaleas with chicken wire placed 3-6" away from the end of the stems (sides and the top). When they begin to go dormant, fill the enclosure with tons of leaves so the leaves will protect the flower buds. The more dried out leaves you use, the more insulated they are so pack them good and top them with cardboard held in place with some rocks. Remember to leave 3-6" worth of leaves between the top stems and the cardboard. Store leftover dried out leaves so you can add more in the middle of winter; they settle down so you will probably need to add more then.
To cover all the bases, I would also suggest checking the acidity of the soil and the amount of nitrogen in the soil. There are soil test kits that will do this for you. And you can also send a soil sample for analysis to your Agriculture Extension Service.
Thank you for the information. I actually have to check if they are Az's or Rhodi's...I got to thinking they might be Rhodi's - but either way...
I have TONS of leaves in order to do that. I am still trying to dispose/compost some from LAST fall! and the acorns are already falling! I have acidic soil due to the oaks...they are planted about 5 feet away from the base of one.
I will check the tags if they are still legible to see if they are Rhodi's. I think they may be because I wouldn't have brought them if I would have known they wouldn't survive here in MN.
Yep, Rhodie's. this one is "good" to -30* 'English Roseum'
the other is something similar - bought them together - probably pink. But again, they have been this size since I brought them home 3 years ago and haven't done a thing. They were "playing" evergreen - they didnt loose their leaves. But I guess I don't know if they are supposed to...?
Looking today, there seems to be a little new growth, so maybe there is hope yet.
I have the same rhody. I planted it three years ago. Once I started to cover it over winter so it wouldn't dessicate, it blooms quite nicely. Really grew this summer, although more horizontally that up. I may have to move it though as it is within three feet of a large cotoneaster bush. On the sunny side at least.
I mulch really well...well, nature mulches for me. I have oak leaves that fall in the garden (as the garden surrounds the oak) and I dont rake it until spring. There is 2" of mulch and another 1-2" of oak leaves, depending on how much the wind blows before the snow flies.
Oberon~ do you use rose bush covers for them? or how do you cover them? Maybe I will burlap wrap them if I can find the time and energy.
I came across another - honestly dont remember if it was in the yard and I just moved it or if I bought another - how sad is that? It is in the back yard. Maybe it will do better than the ones in the front. Will have to see now.
I surround it with a 36"h wire fence. Has 2" grid. Then I wrap with burlap, then fill with leaves, then cover top. Last year I just did the fence and burlap, and put a plywood lid on that was attached to the fence and kept up with two posts. Left a 2" gap at top. big mistake I guess. It allowed the wind in and the bush was very dessicated. Year before I just wrapped in burlap and fencing with some leaves and it came out in the spring looking just like it did in the late fall, all green and leaves standing out nicely. I need a taller fence, or need to just wrap it tightly in burlap as it is too tall for the fencing. Hate to do that as the bush gets mushed down with the snow and limbs break. It is usually about 1/3 to 1/2 buried in snow also
What about tying it around the bottom and bringing the burlap up around the plant (like you are folding up an artificial xmas tree) - then you would end up with more of a point at the top where the snow cant collect on the top. That should keep it from getting smooshed I would think.
That's an idea. The bush is rather oval shaped and somewhat wide at the top. The burlap is only 30" wide but I could simply stitch several pieces together, fill with leaves before tying off the top to give it more bulk and resistence to squishing. I didn't put the top on yesterday and it rained last night. :( So my leaves will be wet inside. Drat. So glad my husband raked up all my cuttings while I tended to the rhodys. I still have about 1/3 of the backyard to chop down, then the front yard which is partially done I have a honeysuckle running up a birdhouse pole next to a lilac. The moose chew the honeysuckle down so last year I wrapped it in burlap also, as well as a climbing rose that is by the mailbox pole. What a lot of work. But the moose can do a lot of damage. if they come before the ground is totally frozen their big hoofies cut deep holes in the garden. I spray blood around the front to keep them away until they can't do too much damage. One hoof on my peonies underground and no flowers til two springs away. they have already set buds for next spring. I also have an azalea out back. It had a hard winter also. I am not going to wrap it this winter. No leaves so hardly matters.