Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I bought an azaleas from costco. How do I take care of it?
Rate This FAQ
Azaleas and rhododendrons are some of the most stunning landscape plants available. When they are blooming, they can literally take my breath away. Unfortunately, Utah's soil is no friend to these species. You will need to pamper these plants and give them a lot of extra work to keep them growing vigorously and looking attractive. If these plants have special, sentimental value to you, the extra work may be worth your while, but for most of us, it becomes a tiresome struggle.
Utah's soils are high in pH because the great amount of calcium carbonates in rock (soil's parent material) was never washed away into the ocean like it was in most parts of the United States. This is because we live in the Great Basin - and water just drains back down to the Great Salt Lake (Lake Bonneville in ancient times). We also have very little organic matter in our native soil because we live in a high desert, and there has been very little precipitation fueling plant growth and decay over the past eons.
If you are bound and determined to grow azaleas and/or rhododendrons (or blueberries, for that matter), you should build a raised bed and fill it with lots of organic matter and just a little native soil. Fertilize regularly with an acidifying fertilizer, like ammonium sulfate and/or acidifying water-soluble fertilizer (like "Mir-Acid"). Alternatively, you can grow small azaleas in large containers filled with artificial media.
Personally, I would encourage you to look at some of the native species and/or better adapted species available. Each is beautiful in its own way and won't require such a lot of input for the return.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- How do I prune my roses?
- We will need to establish some native plants. How much do we have to water Greasewood, Four-wing Saltbush, Rabbitbrush, Green Ephedra, and Spiny Hopsage in #10 containers? We also have two trees, a 5'Utah Juniper and 3' tall Gambel Oaks to water. I understand it best to lightly water for a year and then wean them off in the wet season. Is this correct?
- What is killing all the scrub oak and where can I find information on how to save the scrub oak I have that has not been affected by it yet?
- Do you have tips for naturalizing a landscape with bulbs?
- How can I tell when my pears are ripe?
- I am wondering if I have some sort of fungus in my lawn.
- Do you have tips for safely removing snow from sidewalks and driveways?
- What herbicide/killer do we use to eradicate "salt cedar" & cheat grass??