Ever see a gorgeous container garden with azaleas and other plants? A container garden can beautify any part of your garden. It is not hard to do! Follow these basics, and you can have a lovely garden, even if you have poor soil or no soil at all!
- Choose a container large enough for your plants to grow. When planting azaleas, there should be a 6-inch space between the root ball and the rim of the container. This will give you 2-3 years of growing room before you need to transplant into a larger container. If you will be moving the container around, choose one that is lightweight.
- Holes in the bottom of your container are very important, as water must be able to drain freely. If your container lacks holes, drill or punch holes in the bottom. If you are concerned about soil leaking out or little critters getting in, you can cover the holes with a coffee filter. Place gravel inside the pot to improve drainage.
- Use quality potting soil designed for potted plants. These blends naturally have good drainage. Do not use garden soil. A potting mix designed for acid-loving plants is perfect for Encore Azaleas.
- Loosen the root ball before placing the azalea in the pot. Do this by teasing the roots loose. If your plant is extremely root bound, it is fine to slice around the root ball in several places with your pruners or a knife so that you can release the roots.
- Plant the azalea at the same depth it was planted in the nursery container, or slightly higher. Fill the area around the azalea with the potting mix, and then cover the soil with a layer of mulch to suppress weeds and to keep the roots moist and cool.
- Water thoroughly immediately after planting.
- Continuing Care: Water potted azaleas whenever the top of the soil feels dry to touch. This may be daily in hot, dry weather. Fertilize monthly from spring to fall with fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants, or use a slow-release fertilizer less often.
Tip: If you are going to combine your Encore with other plants in the same pot, choose plants with similar soil, water, and light requirements. However, you can combine plants with different soil or water requirements by putting smaller plants in separate pots, then sinking them in the soil around the azalea. It is also easy to pull these plants out and exchange them for new ones if you use separate pots.
For more garden ideas, click here.