Wskazówki na temat uprawy i pielęgnacji azalii wielkokwiatowych i japońskich
Preparation of soil
All heather plants require acid and permeable soil. In most gardens, we find that this is not the case, and so
we have to take care to create the optimum growing conditions for these plants. The correct method for planting
azaleas is as follows; for an azalea, we need to prepare a hole about 70-80 cm in diameter and 30-40 cm deep,
and for Japanese azaleas suitably 40-50 cm in diameter and 25-30 cm deep. If the soil is too heavy and water has
a tendency to accumulate, then you should prepare a deeper hole and look at the feasibility of drainage. You can
use either gravel, keramzyt or for example, old broken clay flower pots. Now we need to move on to the
preparation of soil for planting. We recommend that you mix an acid peat with your existing soil to a pH not
exceeding pH < 4.5-5.
Before planting, the plant needs to have a good watering. Place the plant and container in water for a few
minutes. After we have planted the plant, we should not tamp down the area around the root ball, but instead let
the soil find its own level with watering; so that we have a final depth of 3 -5 cm below the level of soil. As
heathers have a shallow root system, it can be beneficiary to cover the ground with conifer bark. This practice
will limit the growth of weeds, and the drying of the top soil: which will also result in the slow production of
an acidic soil. To obtain the best effect of “carpeting”, this depends on the density of planting. To gain this
effect with azaleas, we recommend that the spacing should be no more than 1-1.5 m apart, and in the case of
Japanese azaleas, 0.5-0.7 m. It is possible to plant azaleas more densely to gain a quicker and more desirable
effect, remembering that next summer; you may need to transplant some of them. One should remember that the more
azaleas you plant, the larger the effect is.
Azaleas and Japanese azaleas dislike excessive moisture, which if not heeded, can result in the deterioration of
the plant. On the other hand, we cannot under-water; therefore, it is recommended, that azaleas should be
watered moderately: either in the morning or evening from pond or rainwater.
Pruning is not required for azaleas. The only pruning required is to remove dead or deceased parts. In azaleas
case we recommend that, you should deadhead the inflorescences, which will benefit next years blooming.
It is important that in the spring, azaleas should receive fertilizers, which are recommended for acidophilic
plants. One application of a slow release fertilizer will gain the best results. It is well to note that azaleas
react badly to excessive salty ground, which is a result of over fertilization: therefore, if you are not
confident of the amount, it is better to reduce the quantity. Plants should not receive fertilizer with high
nitrogen content after mid July. Fertilizer should be sprinkled under plant folia; because accidental dust
spillage, can lead to a burning of the leaf. If this happens, then immediate rinsing of the plant should take
place. Fertilizer should not be sprinkled at the azaleas centre, about 20-30cm distance from the centre.
Opuchlak truskawkowiec, which attacks azaleas, is the most common pest. This small beetle after feeding leaves
a semi-circle hole on the leaf. Its larva causes larger damage, feeding on the root and neck; which leads to
the eventual death of the plant. First evidence of this can be witnessed towards the end of May. If you find
that your plant becomes invested; we recommend that every 7-10 days you should spray with a mix of Fastac or
Decis or a similar spray, which is designed to destroy the Colorado beetle. This procedure should be repeated
three times. One biological method is also to apply nematode Larvanem.
The most common disease that can affect the young shoots and leaf of the azaleas, is the powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew is a fungus that emerges in a white powdery form, which can be noticed from July until autumn.
To limit the spread of the fungus, it is recommended that you should remove and burn all diseased plant
material; and then spray with a preparation of: Score 250 EC, Discus 500 , Nimrod 250 EC, Saprol 190 EC or a
biological preparation: Biosept33 SL or Bioczos.
We have outlined the main problems with azaleas here, but we also recommend that you seek professional
literature and advice.