Azaleas are what I like to describe as the smaller cousins of rhododendrons and have similar flowers and fragrances. Both require similar growing conditions including an acid soil and some shade. Unfortunately however much care you take of plants it is inevitable that sometimes problems will occur and if they do you need to know what action to take. The article below comes from the Gardening Know How website and is a compilation of the ten most asked questions about azaleas.
To keep azaleas looking healthy, it?s essential that you practice proper care but even then things can still go wrong. That?s why Gardening Know How is here to help by providing the best information possible ? including answers to all those nagging garden questions that plaque us all. Below are our top 10 questions about azaleas.
1) How to fertilize azalea bushes?
This may actually come as a surprise, but normally fertilizing azaleas is unnecessary unless the plants show signs of nutritional deficiency, such as smaller yellowing leaves or stunted growth. Non-flowering could be a lack of phosphorus, especially if you?ve fed the plant a fertilizer high in nitrogen or if it?s in an area where runoff from a recently fertilized lawn tends to go. That said, it is always a good idea to have your soil tested prior to fertilizing just to be sure what, if any, nutrients are needed. If you do fertilize, opt for a balanced type and preferably one aimed at acid-loving plants. Spring is a good time for feeding azalea shrubs.
2) How to get blooms on azalea bush?
If you have a healthy looking azalea bush but it fails to bloom, the soil may either have too much nitrogen or too little phosphorous. Both of these issues can cause plants not to bloom. Have the soil tested where the azaleas are located to see which it is, and then amend the soil accordingly ? usually adding bone meal to the area helps. Non-blooming in azaleas can also be due to improper pruning. Azaleas are early spring bloomers, generally, and should not be pruned later than early summer or you run the risk of cutting off next season?s buds. Frost, inadequate water or drought during bud set can be factors that affect flowering as well.
Go to the next page to see more of these questions on problems with azalea bushes.