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Xela's Garden

Azalea 'Blue Moon' [V]

Genus: Rhododendron.

Species: Rhododendron.

Container grown in Vistabile back garden
Adopted 04.10 from Mother & Father's garden [Freeland]
originally potted up @ Deeds Grove
Evergreen Azaleas

* only grow to 60–100cm (2–3ft) high and wide
* lovely clear and bright flowers from mid April and through May
* best in small garden borders, at the front of larger garden borders, near water features, rockeries and in patio pots
* the leaves on some red varieties turn a nice bronze colour in autumn adding winter interest.

Blue Danube:
Blue Danube is a popular variety for its deep violet-blue flowers in April/May. This is a semi-evergreen shrub that grows up to 1m (3ft).

[Source: www.osberton.co.uk ]

Soil:
Azaleas ..... are ericaceous plants, which means to thrive they need an acid soil (sometimes referred to as a lime free soil) with a pH 4.5-6. Use a simple pH testing kit (available from your local garden centre) or look for plantings of Rhododendrons, Azaleas or Camellias in your neighbourhood as a good indicator of suitability. They prefer a well drained soil so avoid areas that become waterlogged, especially in winter.
If your soil is neutral, pH7, you can grow ericaceous plants. However, you will need to treat the area regularly with a suitable acidifier (available from your local garden centre) and incorporate plenty of organic matter, such as well rotted manure or composted leaf mould, before planting and as an annual mulch.
If your soil is pH7 or above, your ericaceous plants will have to be grown in patio pots using ericaceous compost. (planting in a pot)
Position:
Choose an open position or light shade with shelter from strong winds as this will prolong flowering.
Planting:
Soak your plant thoroughly in it's pot before planting.
Dig a hole large enough to comfortably accommodate the rootball.
Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole to aid drainage.
Mix the excavated soil with ericaceous compost or well rotted leaf mould.
Remove the pot and position your plant in the hole, ensuring that the surrounding soil and the top of the rootball are the same level.
Fill around the rootball with the excavated soil and gently firm. Water in well.
Top dress the area with well rotted leaf mould or bark chips to retain moisture and control weeds.
Keep well watered until established - if possible use rain water.
Planting in a pot.:
Choose a container approximately 10-20cm wider than the plant, with drainage holes in the bottom. Rhododendrons and Azaleas are shallow rooted so a pot that is wide rather than deep is most suitable, something like a ½ barrel is ideal.
Soak your plant thoroughly in its pot before planting.
Cover the drainage holes with broken pots or polystyrene to aid drainage.
Use a mixture of two thirds Ericaceous compost to one third John Innes No1. Put a layer of compost in the bottom, take your plant out of its original pot and position it in the new pot, ensuring that the top of the rootball is 5cm below the rim of the pot.
Fill around the rootball with compost, firming gently as you go, until the compost and the rootball are at the same level.
Water in well and keep well watered through the summer - if possible use rain water.
To further aid drainage position the pot on ‘pot feet’ or bricks.
Position the pot in an open position or light shade with shelter from strong winds as this will prolong flowering.

Maintenance in the garden:
In spring mulch with well rotted leaf mould or bark chips to retain moisture. This is especially important as Rhododendrons and Azaleas are shallow rooted and the mulch will also control weeds. As long as the soil conditions are right, there is no need to feed. If growing in a neutral soil (pH7) you will need to treat the area regularly with a suitable acidifier (available from your local garden centre)

Remove dead flower heads after flowering. This improves the appearance of the plant and directs energy towards producing new growth and flower buds for the following season. Hold the old flower firmly in your hand with your fingers and thumb on the lower part of the main stalk above the developing growth and the old flower should ‘snap’ off easily without damaging the new growth.

No pruning is required.

Maintenance in a pot:
In spring top dress with Ericaceous compost plus a little slow release fertiliser.
Remove dead flower heads after flowering. This improves the appearance of the plant and directs energy towards producing new growth and flower buds for the following season. Hold the old flower firmly in your hand with your fingers and thumb on the lower part of the main stalk above the developing growth and the old flower should ‘snap’ off easily without damaging the new growth.
Keep well watered through the summer - if possible use rain water.
[Source: www.waterersnursery.co.uk ]

For more container growing info see: http://www.rhododendrons.co.uk/Page/68/Advice.aspx

How to Grow Azaleas From Cuttings:
Evergreen azaleas are relatively easy to propagate by rooting.
Instructions:
1 Prepare for cuttings as soon as you see new growth on the evergreen azalea plant you wish to propagate. This usually occurs in June or July. The woody stems shouldn't snap with brittleness, nor should they bend like rubber.
2 Create a rooting medium of half peat and half perlite at least two days before taking cuttings. It should be between 2 and 6 inches deep in the rooting containers you prefer, either flats or small pots or cups. Water the rooting medium each day so it stays moist.
3 Take 2- to 5-inch cuttings, in the morning, using clean pruning shears. Do not take cuttings from shoots coming from the base of the azalea.
4 Remove all the leaves except the "terminal leaves" clustered around the top of the cutting, using pruning shears.
5 Cut the terminal leaves in half if they are large or long.
6 Wet the cuttings with cool water, shake them a few times and put them in a plastic Ziplock-style bag in the refrigerator. This is an optional step, if you can't work with the cuttings immediately upon taking them. Leave the cuttings in the refrigerator for no more than a day.
7 Remove the bark from the lower half inch of the cuttings, using a clean knife.
8 Stick the freshly cut ends in rooting hormone. Do not use liquid rooting hormone, because this may burn the cutting. Do not let the cutting sit in rooting hormone; simply dip the end in the hormone, then remove it.
9 Shake the cuttings to remove excess rooting hormone.
10 Insert cuttings into the rooting medium. If you are using flats, place cuttings every 2 to 4 inches apart.
11 Water the cuttings. Try not to get the leaves wet.
12 Cover the containers with plastic. This helps keep the cuttings moist. If using pots for cuttings, simply cover them with plastic food storage bags, unsealed.
13 Place the cuttings where they will not receive direct sunlight, but will get lots of indirect light.
14 Tug gently on the cuttings after about four weeks. This will indicate if the cutting has rooted. Some azalea cuttings take up to eight weeks to root.
15 Remove, bit by bit, the plastic covering. After two or three days, the plastic covering can completely come off.
16 Transplant the cutting into a larger pot or flat filled with peat moss, leaf mould and sand. Keep the cuttings in a cold frame or greenhouse for a year.
[Source: http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_5588900_grow-azaleas-cuttings.html ]

Photos of this plant

  • Azaleabluemooncloseupcontainerplantvistabilebackgarden11.04.07
  • Azaleabluemooncloseupvistabilebackgardencontainer11.04.07
  • Azaleabluemoonincontainervistabilebackgardn11.04.07
  • Azaleabluemooninpotvistabilebackgarden11.04.07
  • Azaleabluemoonagainvistabilebackgardenmay2013_
  • Azaleabluemoonandagainvistabilebackgarden01may2013

Reminders for this plant

Due about 13 years ago:

Fertilise

In spring top dress with Ericaceous compost plus a little slow release fertiliser

Dead head

Remove dead flower heads after flowering. This improves the appearance of the plant and directs energy towards producing new growth and flower buds for the following season. Hold the old flower firmly in your hand with your fingers and thumb on the lower part of the main stalk above the developing growth and the old flower should ‘snap’ off easily without damaging the new growth.

Water

Keep well watered through the summer - if possible use rain water.

Due about 12 years ago:

Dead head

See plant notes

Dead head

Remove dead flower heads after flowering. See plant notes.

Due almost 12 years ago:

Water

Keep well watered through the summer - if possible use rain water.

Due over 11 years ago:

Feed/fertilize

In spring top dress with Ericaceous compost plus a little slow release fertiliser

Due about 11 years ago:

Dead head

See plant notes

Water

Keep well watered through the summer - if possible use rain water.

Check moisture

Keep well watered through the summer - if possible use rain water.

Take cuttings

See plant notes