Azaleas slowly dying

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by bux, May 24, 2020.

  1. bux

    bux Member

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    Hello, I have a garden with about a half dozen azaleas. The azaleas has been doing well for years. Full nice blooms annually. In recent years I have planted cotoneaster around the azaleas in the same bed. The cotoneaster is becoming quite prolific while the azaleas seem to be slowly declining. Do these 2 species not get along? Or maybe the cotoneaster is physically choking out the azaleas. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi @bux , I have a number of Azaleas and I have nothing around the base at all. They do very well every year.
    But when I first started growing them in the mid 1970's, I did as you have done and allowed ground cover all around the base of mine. After a couple of years they died.
    Now I'm not saying your cottoneaster is doing the same, but IMO it is starving your Azaleas of water , nutrients and light. Competition in nature often means something less prolific dies.
    If it were me, I would remove a lot of the Cottoneaster from around the base of your Azaleas, feed them with a slow release pellet for acidic loving plants, lightly mulch with a good acid loving compost and water well. For a quick pick me up, I have used liquid seaweed feed.
    I will post my 40 year old Azalea that has no competition and flowers well every year and my Geisha equally no competition and flourishes.
    Hope that's of some help to you.
     

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  3. bux

    bux Member

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    Thank you for the response. I will try what you recommended. Thanks for posting pictures - beautiful specimens.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The azaleas want to be the ground cover, the cotoneaster is too much for them.
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Do let us know how they turn out and thankyou for your comments.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Rising Contributor

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    I agree with prev posts

    If you have any azalea remaining - then the ground cover needs to go ASAP

    Tho carefully because the azalea roots are quite tender and shallow

    If you Re-plant — consider how wild rhodos appear in Manning Park ... under the big coniferous trees and no ground cover like (horrors!) ivy or periwinkle etc .... just some other companionable forest shrubs well spaced and some little mossy patches and other small flowers that I can’t think of right now and some mushrooms / fungi etc

    Google - Rhododendron Flats Manning Park BC and I bet there are photos

    If you are sunnier, then think of the old plantings around established neighbourhoods like in the North Shore areas.
     

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