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Need HELP on rejuvenating struggling Azaleas

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Florida Green, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Florida Green

    Florida Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Just cut back what seemed to be a forest of tall ginger and discovered some struggling Azaleas (very little foliage-but alive). They have been sunlight deprived for a year or more, but now they'll get several hours of sun per day. They were once in this landscape and would look good where they are.

    My Question is:

    Should I prune them back hard, or prune lightly (I've already removed some dead wood) or what? How much of the bush should go? They're at about 3 ft. now, but naked. The more specific details you guys can give me, the better because as my log in implies, I'm pretty green on this.

    I've been told that it's still not too late (Sept.) to cut back an azalea here in Florida (still smoking hot here and will be for weeks to come) and still get a winter bloom, but I've also been told that it should be done by July to allow development time for winter bloom.

  2. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    hard to tell without a pic, I stop pruning azaleas at the end of june. I would feed them with an acid forming fert w micronutrients and check the ph to see if sulfer is needed the ph should be 4.5-5.5
  3. Florida Green

    Florida Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks Mo,

    Anyone know if these soil testing probes they sell are acurate for obtaining PH readings? I saw them at Lowes. They also had a kit with litmus paper.
  4. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Azaleas love ACID--They set their blooms for next year shortly after they bloom this year. If you prune, you loose the blooms for next year. I'd leave them alone. Also to help them out fast. Buy, some Miracle-Grow Acid loving plant food. This stuff is merely fertilizer salts but will quick start the plants. It won't last. Hollytone for azeleas and acid loving plants is a good solutions for them. Work it into the soil to become activated and keep them watered. Do not water so much that it leaches out your fertilizer. About a quart all around the plant for a few days. They should pop out. If you can give them a little filtered sunlight with maybe a net to reflect the hot rays--they would love it.
    In SC, we pride ourselves on Azaleas. Have you ever been to Charleston, SC during April. One of the greatest things you could ever experience.
  5. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    look up your county extension for ph test it cost about 2 dollars. Lowes thing is crap.

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