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Thread: getting azaleas to bloom

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    1.25 acres in Melbourne, Florida
    Posts
    2

    getting azaleas to bloom

    I live in central florida and have a property with a ton of pine trees all over it. Lining my driveway are several large azaleas about 8 feet around and 5 feet high. They are very dense and have great foliage but i have zero experience with azaleas. The homeowner before cant remember when they ever bloomed....if ever and i dont know how to prune them. my questions are 1:what do i do to make them bloom? 2:how should i prune them? 3:do they transplant well? since im looking to widen my driveway and they are in the way. Do azaleas in florida bloom differently than in other parts of the country?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Central Indiana Zone 5a
    Posts
    4,917
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    Pauline,

    I have no experience in growing anything inCentral Florida, but this is what I do know about Azaleas:

    They can be moved, carefully of course! You will need to dig well around the shrub getting as much of the root ball as possible. Transplant to a prepared hole to which much organic matter has been well worked in; fill the hole with the plant in it with water, after it has drained, back fill, tamping down as you go and making sure the shrub remains at the same level it was growing. Once all the soil had been packed around the plant, make a well or small hill of the remaining soil around the plant and water it again, if you can, add a root stimulator to this water Prune the bush back by 1/3, try to maintain the plants symmetry. If you move the plant this time of year or closer to "Fall", I doubt you will see any bloom next Spring as any buds that may have formed will be lost when it is pruned.

    The best time to prune Spring Flowering Shrubs is immediately after flowering, but in your case, just about any time will work.

    Fertilize using an acid based fertilizer made especially for Azaleas, following package directions; you may also want to fertilize additionally with a "blossom booster" formulation.

    For the first year after being transplanted you will want to make sure the plant receives sufficient moisture, so keep it well watered (but not soggy!)

    I find it difficult to believe these have not flowered, still, the main cause for lack of blooms is insufficient nutrients. Thus, having the plants on a regular fertilizer program should help.

    After being moved, I wouldn't expect to see bloom for at least two years.

    Another good source for information on growing Azaleas in your area is your County Extension Office. You should be able to get more zone specific information from them.

    Good luck!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Hi, Paulie!

    Azaleas do grow huge here. Often they are too large and have to be pruned WAY back. Usually, they are pruned right after they bloom so that you do not interfere with bud production for next year.

    Most azaleas here bloom in the early spring, but some are in bloom right now. There are so many varieties that it is hard to tell which one that you have. We grow them in full sun because of our heavy rainfall and high humidity, but some varieties still require protection from noon sun.

    Here is an article that may help. Be sure to click on the links centered in the first section. Once you enter, just click next and you will visit each page.

    http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0200/

    Evergreen azaleas are usually easy to propagate.

    Hope that helps!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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