Is it possible to plant azaleas in open ground
In order for the plant to quickly take root in the garden and to please the eye from season to season, it is important to find out the peculiarities of the existing varieties and select the optimal ones for a particular summer cottage.
Azaleas are relatives of rhododendrons. If the former have flowers with five stamens, the latter have a much larger number, otherwise they are similar and genetically compatible. Breeders have brought quite cold-resistant varieties of hybrids that are successfully grown in the middle lane in the open field. Azaleas differ from each other:
- leaf shape;
- the life of the foliage - with a two-year cycle, evergreen and deciduous;
- tall bushes;
- types of inflorescences;
- coloring of petals;
- the size of the buds.
Properly picking up different plants, you can create beautiful, multi-tiered and multi-colored flowerbeds.
Among the winter-hardy varieties of azaleas that are popular in the middle lane are Tunisia, Golden Lights, Straus, Klondike, Gibraltar, Freya, Chanel, Rosie Light, Orchid Lights.At the dacha many species of Japanese azaleas (Azalea japonica) successfully take root and bloom, especially deciduous. The so-called Indian varieties (Azalea indica) are more commonly used as home plants.
How to choose an azalea for the garden
Usually in flower shops, azaleas suitable for planting in open ground are sold in spring. Houseplants, like Indian varieties, can be found on the shelves in any season. At the same time, azaleas for home are distinguished by loose buds and large foliage even at a height of stems of no more than 10-15 cm.
When buying a garden azalea you should make sure that:
- The bush does not exceed 25 cm;
- flower buds barely noticeable;
- foliage on the plant a bit;
- Spring seedling is in a large container with a wet ground.
If you carefully pull a quality azalea sapling on the stalk, it will remain in the soil. When a plant comes out of a pot with an earthen clod, it is not worth taking it - most likely, the survival rate will be low.
Optimal conditions for garden azaleas
If conditions in the garden allow, you can safely plant azalea in the spring in the open ground. It is important to note that exotic has a fibrous root system, which grows in breadth close to the ground.Therefore, it is impossible to plant azaleas near willow, maple and other trees with similar roots, otherwise everyone will not have enough nutrients. In the extreme case, flower growers lay a film in the ground - this allows you to keep the area of azalea replenishment with food and water in isolation.
The best place for exotic will be the penumbra of larch, oak, shrubs, whose roots go deep. Before planting a plant, it is necessary to indent from a near-stem circle. It should be remembered that azalea suffers from the direct rays of the sun. Plot for placement of beds should be flat, protected from drafts and flooding.
Here, before the beginning of spring sap flow, you should dig a hole not deeper than half a meter and put claydite at the bottom, line the sand layer. Mix the soil from the pit with sand, peat and humus and form a small hill in the center of the seat. Distribute the azalea roots along it and cover it with the rest of the prepared soil so that the root neck is above the ground.
It remains to tamp the earth around the azaleas a little and moisten it, and when it settles, add more soil and put a five-centimeter layer of mulch - chopped straw, peat, pine needles, and oak foliage. When mulching, the bush neck should remain open.
Basic rules for the care of azaleas in the garden
- Azalea feels great in the open field at a temperature of + 20-25ºС. Winter-hardy exotics withstand cold winters, but in the fall it is recommended to warm their root system with mulch.
- Azalea should be watered with rain or separated water as soon as the upper part of the ground in the flowerbed begins to dry out. In the heat (provided that the plant does not bloom), it is worthwhile to spray the bush with warm water - this will help protect exotics from diseases and maintain the beauty of the inflorescences.
- Azalea loves acidic soil, so you should water it every month with water with a small amount of citric acid. In the autumn you need to reduce the number of waterings.
- In the spring should be cut off the diseased and dry shoots of azaleas. Pruning will help diffused light to pass into the depth of the crown, revitalize the bush.
- In early spring, the soil around the azalea can be fertilized with humus. When buds are tied, feed the plant with complex mineral fertilizer with phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Bush bloomed - with phosphorus and potassium in the ratio of 1: 2.
If you observe the optimal conditions for the cultivation of exotic, perennial shrubs will bloom in the third or fourth year of life and will long please the eye with exquisite flowers.