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
- What is killing the aspen trees in our forests?
- I have several Dwarf Blue Arctic Willows in my yard. This year they were full of some kind of wasp or bee. I waited until winter and the leaves dropped off to see if there was a hive or nest and there does not seem to be one. In looking for the nest I noticed some small black bugs on the wood. What should I do, if anything and are the two pests related in any way?
- we would like to plant a cherry tree in our backyard for the fruit and the shade. what would be the proper kind to purchase,we like sweet cherries.
- Last May I planted an eight foot Sub-Alpine Fir in my new yard. My soil is very sandy. We deep watered the tree once a week throughout the hot season. The tree never showed any sign of stress until now (March). The ends of the branches are turning brown. I know these trees are sensitive. What can I do to best ensure the tree survives?
- What Are Those Large Round Fungus Balls That Appeared In My Lawn Last Summer?
- I wanted to ask your opinion on fertilizing my lawn. I have so many weeds this year that I don't know what to do. The lawn is currently being fertilized by a company that comes out every 2-3 months. I started using them at the end last summer but maybe I selected the wrong company. Could you give me a recommendation on what to do to cut down on the weeds? Should I switch to a different company or do you recommend fertilizing myself? Thanks, Ryan
- My sycamore tree has brown-reddish spots along the leaf veins. What is it?
- I am purchasing a 30 year old home with three large (15+ feet) blue spruce trees growing in the front yard. I would prefer not to cut them down, is it possible to transplant a large blue spruce in Utah? If so, who would do it and who would want them?