How to care for azaleas transplanted mid-November

Huntsville, AL(Zone 7b)

Hello all--

I am fairly new to Huntsville, AL and have started working on my yard--which needs a lot of attention! I transplanted some azaleas in November, which in retrospect was probably a bit late in the fall to do that. The nursery owner told me it would be okay as long as I watered them in well, but I'm wondering if I need to continue watering through the winter since the temperatures are below freezing most nights now?

The last place I lived was Southern New Jersey where we packed up the hoses for the winter to protect them so I'm not sure if I need to do that or keep watering the azaleas and bulbs I planted.

Thanks for any help and insights you can share.


Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Hi Anne,

I'm close to you in Lacey's Spring! Welcome to this forum! Yes, you're fine for planting your azaleas, and when we have dry weather for a period, you should be watering. As long as you have mulched well and not planted too deep they should be fine. Too much water isn't good either. I always loosen the soil around the roots too before planting, but I'm sure you know that. And I plant mine a bit above the soil line. I mulch with pine straw as azaleas like acid soil, but if you have used shredded pine mulch which a lot of people favor here that is fine too. Just don't put anything like ashes or other alkaline amendments around them.

The old finger in the dirt test is the best test, just to see if the dirt is dry. As you probably have found, we have red clay soil, which isn't the best but can be amended and not so horrible either with time. If the leaves start to droop, water and they should recover.

The Botanical Garden has free leaf mulch. You can go get it any time yourself, but they have a loader in the late spring thru summer months. Membership is reasonable and they are a great resource for classes and other information about gardening in this area. Plus you'll get a newsletter with tips for the time of year gardening.

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