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Beginner Flowers: Azalea

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kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2007
3:16 PM

Post #3433723

So, I think I have an azalea bush. It gets pretty pink trumpet like flowers on it, and it looks a lot like pics of azaleas I've looked at. Anyway, it was planted here when we moved here...actually, there were two, but one died. I had read that they prefer shade, so I moved the one that survived under a tree, and it seemed to do better last year. Then, this year it was budding nicely...and then we got the late frost and it looks horrible. Should I prune it? Also, how big do Azaleas normally get? This little guy isn't very big...

Kristie

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2007
3:34 PM

Post #3433790

I wouldn't prune it. Only take off any dead stems you may have. Someone else can guess on how big it'll get; I'm not that knowledgeable there. I don't think they grow very fast in general.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 26, 2007
3:48 PM

Post #3433838

I think the size will depend on what cultivar you have, there are some that are dwarf and will stay very small, and there are others that are larger. I would also wait a little before you prune, you'd be surprised at where you might start to see new growth, parts that look dead now may not be. But in a couple months if there are branches that are showing no signs of life then you can go ahead and cut out the dead parts.
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2007
4:15 PM

Post #3433944

Thanks guys. Like I said, I think its an Azalea...I thought it might be a dwarf variety, I had seen one that looked like it in a magazine...I forget the name of it now. Aren't rhodendrons like Azaleas? What's the difference? Someone told me it was just leaf shape...

Kristie
gingerlily
Paxton, FL
(Zone 8a)

April 26, 2007
9:28 PM

Post #3434912

Rhododendrons need cooler temps. I didn't think azaleas survived that far north, but maybe there are some cultivars that do. It could be just leaf damage and the plant might come back out. Don't be to hasty to prune until you're sure. Actually azaleas will bloom and grow in full sun or part shade. More important is the soil, it should be acidic, maybe that's why it did better under the tree. Perhaps the tree made more acidic soil around it. Growth rate depends a lot on soil too. I find they grow slowly on one side of our property, where the soil is not as good. I have some that are over 30 years old, never pruned, and are probably 7-8 feet tall. I prune the ones in front of the shop two or three times a year to keep them low. Blooms are made on old growth, so you don't want to prune in the spring or late fall.
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2007
10:16 PM

Post #3435099

Well, then maybe its a rhodendron then...I'll poke around and see if I can find a picture that looks like it. When we moved here, both the bushes had been severely pruned...the one that died was just a stub...that could be why it died...who knows. I won't prune it I think. The leaves look pretty sad, but it isn't declining any...hopefully it'll perk up a little...Thanks for all the help guys...

Kristie
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 26, 2007
10:19 PM

Post #3435111

There are definitely azaleas that are hardy in zone 5.
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2007
10:23 PM

Post #3435125

lol...ok, then maybe its an azalea...it has pink flowers...and I think kinda oval leaves...I was just thinking it was a shame I couldn't ask it what it was and I just remember seeing an episode of MythBusters where they hooked a plant up to a lie detector machine to see if it registered anything when someone "sent negative thoughts" towards it...and it did! I didn't see the rest of it, but I thought that was a little spooky...Anyway...


Kristie
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 26, 2007
10:30 PM

Post #3435155

If you have a picture of it from last time it bloomed someone could probably figure out which it is--depending on how distinctive the flower color is maybe even get some guesses on which cultivar it is, although it can be pretty tricky to get that specific of an ID since there are a number of cultivars that look similar. Azaleas are just a particular sub-group of Rhododendron species so you take care of them in the same way so I'm not sure if it really matters which one it is.
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2007
10:35 PM

Post #3435171

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it from last year. From what I remember, the blooms didn't last very long. You people do seem to be pretty good at IDing things; are most members botanists/horticulturist/flower experts?

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 26, 2007
10:46 PM

Post #3435204

I don't think most people are--there are a few I'm sure but most people are just avid gardeners. You'd be surprised how fast you pick things up, I knew hardly anything 3-4 years ago but I've become obsessed with plants since then and I'm surprised by how much I know now just from taking care of my plants, reading books, hanging out here, etc. But there's always more to learn no matter how long you've been gardening!
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 26, 2007
10:51 PM

Post #3435219

Well, I suppose that makes me feel better...but I'm quite sure I won't be spouting off the Latin names(or whatever it is) for plants any time soon...lol. I have found you do learn a lot, and now I'm a lot better at figuring out what things are...its very satisfying, and it makes gardening not seem so scary...its not as hard as it may seem

Kristie
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 2, 2007
1:22 PM

Post #3455234

An update on my "azalea". Its started to grow big new leaves at the end of the stems and there's even a few buds that look good. It seems the new buds and leaves are mainly on one side, and a little sparce, but at least its growing. Hopefully it'll fill out a little more so it doesn't look so scraggly.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2007
2:59 PM

Post #3459401

Yay!
kls_01
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 3, 2007
3:00 PM

Post #3459406

:)

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