Moving REALLY old azaleas

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

This is not a plant that I'm all that familiar with, as they aren't that popular down south---doesn't get cold enough.

Went to one of my hubbies job sites the other day, where they are getting ready to tear out a piece of property that is at least 50 years old. Although over-grown, is obvious that it was VERY landscaped at one time!

My question is: has any-one ever moved really old azaleas with any luck??? Doesn't help that the last few days here have been down to the freezing temps in the mornings, but this was the only opportunity to move them before they are leveled!

Got them back into the ground & fertilised, but still not sure if they will make it. as they were in pretty poor shape when we found them!

New Port Richey, FL

My parents had a small retail nursery and Azaleas and Dogwoods were their specialty. They actually were very popular in the South. It's the Rhodadendron that won't grow here. You'er right that the timing is bad but you had no choice. When Dad moved old Azaleas he would cut them back hard. Most important for azaleas is soil. They need peat and lots of it especially if planted next to a block home. They don't like full sun either. Morning sun is o.k. but they do best under oaks and pines. He would soak the hole before putting the plant in then water well after and leave the hose with the slowest drip possible or a mister on it until it was actively growing not just new buds. Give them plenty of time to come back. Sometimes all of the hardwood above ground would die but new shoots would grow from the roots. If they make it you would fertilize after they bloom in march/april but you've already done that. Pinch tips and prune through the summer to get the shape and bushiness and fertilize again in early august. No more fertlizer, pinching or pruning until after the spring bloom or you'll lose next years blooms. Oldtimers always raked their leaves into their azalea beds as mulch because of their high acid content.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Water, water, and more water.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

I knew the Rhododendrons didn't like it down here----Azaleas are everywhere!!! Moved here from Virginia about 26 years ago & both were very proliferant up there, but growing up in Vero Beach, Fl. (where I grew up)---not so much. Have never been crazy about Azaleas, but with the fence lines on our property needing cover---getting a little more so!

Went back to the job-site today---hit the JACKPOT!!!! Found a Lady Banks Rose, that had sent out runners, good thing, as the main plant was under a fence. We got one really large off-shoot of it & when we got it home, found that I could make two of it! I have two, on a trellis, that I planted over six years ago---largest shoot, about as big around as my little finger----new ones that we got today-----at least one inch around!

Found more Sago Palms, Gingers, Iris,Mexican Petunias, & a lot of mystery lilies! Know what some are, as they were blooming---jonquils, there were so many others that didn't have bloom & couldn't identify them by the leaves, that it is going to be a treat when they bloom!!!!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Get a little carried away!
I too, grew up with my father having his own nusery. His on the other hand, delt mostley with flowering bulbs.
I spent all of my growing up years, from abou he age of 4, working with my father building & growing plants.

Although I didn't grow up with Azleas, have taught mself about their requirements since I've been back here., Know that they like shade & a little more acidic soil, ie---oak leaves, pine needles.

Also know, that like Rhodadendrons, can scar the underside of a limb, place it down on top of the soil & fasten it in place---will eventully make a new plant.

Like I said----Get a Little Carried Away!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Azaleas are doing great!!! Didn't seem to shock much by being moved---all are blooming again. Agree----water, water, & water some more.

Went back for the third time, today & found even more plants that I hadn't seen before. There seems to be plants, more, plants, & more plants!!!! Have found out since my first initial post that the land we finding all of these plants on, used to be a nursery about ten years ago.

Found new plants today, that I didn't see the last time I was there, & still working on getting the entire Lady Banks Rose out! Got two major shoots today & if we can make it back out there before they bring the dozers in, will try to get the rest!

THANK GOD FOR MY HUBBY!!!! He hurt himself trying to get the rose for me today!!! I would have given up, but he was bound & determined to get this for me! He Did It!!!! Now if we can just make them live!!!!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Wishing you success on the new transplants. What great finds! I have always had success moving Azaleas. Garden glory was so right with the "water, water, and more water" for the next few months...

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Went back this morning----Sundays are usually our couch potato day, but with the bulldozers coming in to level the property, had to make another sweep of it.

Went back to get more of what we had already seen in our previous visits & also found a lot of new plants That we hadn't seen before. Can just imagine what would show up out there in the summer!!!

Found some red Azaleas today!!! Just babies, so weren't that hard to move. Never thought I'd have azaleas in my yard, as I was never that fond of them, but with this property going to be leveled, am out to save as much as we can!

I can't even begin to post all of the plants that we've found & dug up---some that I saw, that I wasn't even sure about, so left them.

Trees???? There are many types of them out there, that have young ones. Have no room for more trees!!! Shrubs---more proliferate than the trees, again, no place to put them.

Going to make one more sweep of the area next week, if they don't get in there with the dozers, but right now---am worn out!!!! Don't think there's much more that we haven't already found. Lots more to get, as we only took some of everything, but would take days to get it all!!!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Camillia, I have lots of 40 year-old azaleas on my property near Orlando, and yes, I've moved some of them successfully. I do find that after 25 years or so, they develop such large old stems that new basal growth stops, and the plants get too leggy. I've been very successful renewing them by removing one-third of the oldest stems each spring (after bloom) and lightly trimming the remaining old branches. I do this for three successive springs, and by then you have a beautiful shrub again with all new branches. You may find this useful with your new (old) azaleas.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the info on the azaleas. Knew, that azaleas, like rhododendrons, could be rooted by taking a small sliver from the underside of a limb, pinning it to the ground, & will eventually make a new plant, that can then be cut from the mother.
All but one of the azalea we moved have made it!!!! The only one that didn't. was the one I didn't think would---not enough root!

GOOD NEWS!!!! Today, we found new growth on our Lady Banks roses! Ended up with four total & they all seem to be taking!!! YAY!!!! These things are huge compared to the ones I bought 3 years ago, smallest base stalk is at least one inch around, & each one is about 3 ft. tall or taller. Can't pull the stems to the fences yet, as they need to get their root system stronger

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Glad you saved the plants. That would be awful to see them dozed under. Hope they all live for you.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

A little late for me to be posting tonight---but trying to unwind a little!
Went back out to the job site on Friday to see what had been done. They are dozing some of it, but hit the jack-pot on the amarilisis, knew that if anything was going to show it's head at this time of year it would be them & maybe a few lillies.
Got a few more gingers & some 4 O'clocks. Also got a look at that strange tree that had the lavender flowers growing out of knots on it's trunk---now has leaves, & the best I can tell---looks like some kind of Aspin. Dug up a baby---guess I'll find out!

All of the azaleas that we dug up & moved/except one made it! Didn't think that the one we lost was going to make it to begin with---not much of a root system.

The Lady Banks Roses are doing well---one is acctually blooming

Now hubby is going to go back after a rambling rose that I spotted the other day & didn't ask him to dig up. He has worked so hard on digging these things & I wasn't too sure about taking this one because moving roses are a little iffy at best! This one has just shown its'self & if it's been there that long----hard to tell if we can get most of the tap root.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

What a great find for you! Glad you were able to get there and rescue all those plants!


High Springs, FL(Zone 8b)

LOL, you sound like me! My husband is a sitework contractor and over the years we've accumulated literally hundreds of trees, shrubs and miscellaneous plants from job sites. Regarding the tree you mentioned with "the lavender flowers" - check out a photo of an eastern redbud and see if that might be it. They frequently have blooms popping right out of the bark, and the leaves are similar to aspens (which I don't think grow in Florida.)

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

There is a 'Florida Aspen', that is actually outlawed from being sold here, as it is so invasive!
Hubby & I already got rid of the sapling that we brought home, as that's what we thought it was.
Now that you sent me the info on the Eastern Redbud, & had a chance to check it out---looks like the same tree, except that none of the pictures showed the knots on the trunks like we saw. Flowers looked the same except the one's on 'our' tree seemed to be smaller. Knew it had to be something special to be planted in an old nursery site.

Guess now, wer'e going to have to go back out & take the chance that we can get another!!!

Isn't it GREAT to be a gardener & have a hubby that calls you up to say---"Bring the Truck & a shovel"?----you just know he's found something special!!!

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