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Azaleas in 9b/10a

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Florida Gardener, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Any guys that live in these zones using azaleas with good success? What cultivars? Are you experiencing any problems? I know they like acidic soils so obviously nutrient def. would be a problem on alkaline sites....
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I am not sure what your problem is. I plant them on the East side of the house for morning sun and afternoon shade. Fertilize them with a acid forming fertilizer. My soil is 9.5 pH naturally, But then it is a calcareous sand. If I can grow them in those condition anyone should be able to grow them.

    PS a Quick Trick is to put a cup to a pint of white vinegar in a gallon and water the azaleas fooling them into believing they are is acid soil. But don't do it more than once a week or LESS.
  3. Ric I was asking a general question meaning I haven't tried them yet and was wondering about results in these zones as you don't see them a lot here in S. Florida. Thanks for the input.
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  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,997

    I maintain azaleas in zone 11. Most of the soil here is 7+. The keys to keeping azaleas under these conditions are to limit P, use acid forming fertilizers as Ric said, include micronutrients and try to acidify the soil. I have started using food grade citric acid to deal with my soil problems. I apply 1 lb per 1000 sq ft in enough water to apply, followed by irrigation or 1/2 lb per 100 gallons as a drench.

    I do have my share of powdery mildew and leaf spot diseases if it rains or is cool and damp. Otherwise when it is warm, azalea lacebugs and spider mites come out in hordes.
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,997

    The hardiest azaleas in warm areas seem to be the Rhododendron indicums, commonly known as Satsuki azaleas. They are at their best in partial shade.
  6. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Lavendar Formosa is very tough, I also like Duc De Rohan and Louis Taber. I have alway had lots of problems with Red Ruffle over time. Spider Mites are the biggest insect problem. Do not plant close to concrete structures or walks if possible.
  7. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Also well drained soil is important, they don't like to dry out but don't like to sit in water either. I had this problem at one clients house and I brought in sand, compost, horse manure and peat and built two small burms in the front of the house and the Azaleas have done much better than in the past.
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    I tell people red ruffles are annuals :) If you get them to last and flourish year after year, you must have planted them when the stars were perfectly aligned. If people have their hearts set on ruffles, I try to talk them into Pinks.
  9. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    Azaleas aren't real popular in my area. They're never fertilized properly and or are installed in poor conditions. My experience with them is mostly ripping them out and replacing them with something different.

    Come to think of it my nursery doesn't even sell azaleas.
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Which I could say the same......they are a home owners favorite here...unfortunately the outcome is generally not good and the results are much like you explain.

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