Hot/dry 10-day forecast... should I wait to plant azaleas??

Dallas, GA

I just bought 10 azaleas this weekend... stupidly not checking the 10-day forecast. Um, we're looking at 10 days of hot, dry days (highs in the 80's for several days then the 70's, *maybe* some scattered t-storms in the middle of all that heat).

Most of the spots where I will plant them will be getting dappled shade once the trees leaf out more fully. It's not usually this hot this early in the spring. I'm wondering if I should wait a bit before planting them... won't new transplants get stressed with all this heat and sun, even if I water them daily? The azaleas I planted a couple of months ago are showing signs of heat stress... I'm hoping they will make it too! :(

I'm thinking maybe I should keep them in pots in a shady spot next to the deck where they'll at least get minimal direct sun, then transplant once cooler temps are in sight and/or the overhead trees are a bit more leafed out. What would you do?

Thumbnail by MrsJohnnyG
Dallas, GA

I've decided to wait. My neighbor (an avid gardener) urged me to get them into the ground rather than let them bake in their plastic pots, but the problem is they will bake where I'm planning to plant them. (It's crazily unseasonably hot here and there's almost no shade until the trees fill in more. At least while they're in their pots, I can keep them clustered together in a shady spot where they're not baking in the sun for 14+ hours.

The azaleas and hydrangeas I planted months ago are wilting under the heat so I'm going to have to figure out a way to create some shade for them (someone suggested white sheets and/or umbrellas)... don't want to have to do that for 10 *more* plants.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

As long as the soil is moist, well mulched (3-4" of acidic mulch) and the shrubs will get afternoon shade starting around 12pm or so, you can plant them now. Keep an eye on the soil moisture though. They like constant moisture. The soil should be moist, not dry of course but not wet either. Insert a finger to a depth of 4" into the soil and see if it feels dry, moist or wet. Then water when it feels almost dry or dry. If the area gets too much sun then keep them potted until the area is ready for azalea plantings. Keep an eye on soil moisture in the pots and provide some fertilizer monthly or every two months (not needed if the potting soil already contains those round fertilizer pellets).

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