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Old 06-09-2008, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 12,446,984 times
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I planted 30 small azaleas that were in 1 gallon pots 2 months ago. A couple are getting more sunlight than I had planned because of a tree that came down. It's been in the upper 90s here for a few days now and they're wilting really bad. I've watered them everyday, but it doesn't seem to help. Even at night, they're wilting. Should I give up on them or keep watering? I hate to waste water on plants that aren't going to survive. There's another 3-4 days of this heat expected.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Newport, NC
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2 suggestions, more water and/or spray them with an antidessicant. Based on the short time they have been in the ground, and the temperatures along the east coast recently, I would say they aren't getting enough water. You may have to water several times a day. Also, keep in mind that once azaleas flower, the old blossoms turn brown and hang on the plant for awhile - maybe this is what you're seeing?
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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You might also check to see if they have roots. What I mean is.. it might be a vole eating the roots... as that happened to me. I kept watering and watering (rose bush though) and kept wilting and wilting. The little rodents ate the dog gone thing. Just a thought. I check by wiggling the plant.. if its pretty loose.. then that might be the cause.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
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The roots are intact. I've been watering morning and night. I don't want to water them during the heat of the day. I switched to a soaker hose yesterday. I thought maybe I should keep the leaves dry.

I think one of them is a goner no matter what I do at this point. Its leaves are almost brown and turning brittle. Oh well, 45 out of 50 ain't too bad I guess. Most are doing great and even growing.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
1,466 posts, read 3,509,336 times
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Maybe you just got a few duds... but that is great that the majority of them are growing...

Soaker hoses are really great too! that will definitely help with all the heat you guys have been having back east...
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 15,923,098 times
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Make sure you are not over watering also make sure the soil is acid enough and has sufficient iron. Azaleas can generally handle 90+ heat in the sun with no problem. Mine have been in 90+ for a couple of weeks (no rain) and have only been watered twice. Mine are established 15+ year old plants though.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,677 posts, read 45,030,920 times
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The number one killer of plants, especially new plants is improper watering. Your plants, as you describe, should be on a one or every two days deep watering cycle. If you planted the plants properly with correct amount of humus/mulch/sand/dirt combo with good drainage holes then the plants should be performing normally. If you have hard pan clay soil and are watering twice a day, you probably are overwatering and rotting off the new roots that are trying to establish themselves.
What size plants did you plant and how much water are you giving them. One gallon plants, planted into a normal 5 gallon size hole, should be getting 1-2 gallons of water at each watering, then allowed to dry some, not dried out but kept in a moist stage, for one to two days so oxygen can get down to the lower feeder roots.
You may want to get a moisture meeter, at garden centers for about five bucks, to check when to water. That would save you time, money and grief. You will be surprised by the results the meters tell you. Most people kill their plants with too much TLC, like drowning.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 12,446,984 times
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Here in NC, our soil is acidic. It takes a lot of effort to turn it alkaline. I used peat moss mixed with native soil when I planted them. I bought 20 of them from Lowe's. The grower was Metrolina Greenhouses. The other 10 I bought from Wal-Mart. The grower was also Metrolina Greenhouses. Of the 30, three of the Formosa Lavender varieties are dead. They're so badly wilted, even a deep watering last night won't bring them back. None of the other varieties are wilting. 20 were planted in March, the other 10 in April. The 3 that are dead are from the first batch. I believe I just got poor plants to begin with. If there were other varieties wilting and dying, I'd assume it was something I was doing.

I'll replace them this fall or next spring. They were about 12-18" tall in a one gallon container when I bought them. Almost all of them have new growth except for the three dead ones.
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