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transplanting old azaleas. I intend to prune them back before potting. Should I also fertilise or use seaweed?

My son rescued these from a demolition site. They look reasonably healthy and I would like to save them for him for his garden after his house is renovated. I'm told to prune back hard but not give any tonics or fertiliser until I see new growth. Is this correct? One will go in the ground at my place and the others in large pots to be transported back to his place in time. Can I also take cuttings?

Submitted: 07:02AM, 10 May 2019
Answer: Hi Joy,

Thank you for contacting Yates.

To ensure safe transplanting, prior to digging up the plant, we recommend pruning off approximately a third of the total foliage. The reason for pruning is, the roots are being disturbed and incidentally are damaged. If the plant has too many leaves and not enough roots, consequently the plant can not supply itself with adequate water and therefore dries out. If they plants have already been dug up, the advice is still the same, prune off approximately a third of the total foliage.

When transplanting, deep water the plant for a few days leading up to transplanting. We recommend applying ‘Yates Dynamic Lifter Liquid Concentrate’ as a foliar spray and as a soil drench, this is a gentle fertiliser and tonic that will reduce water loss and transplant shock

When planting in the ground, to ensure the plant is going to a healthy home, we recommend improving the new areas soil by applying 5-10cm thick of compost, sprinkle ‘Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser’ as a complete, soil-conditioning fertiliser, then dig both into the soil. After planting, top off with a 5-8 cm layer of mulch. Azaleas prefer an acidic soil between 5.0 and 5.5. We recommend testing the pH of the soil. You can acquire pH test kits from most Garden Centres, Bunnings, and other hardware stores such as Mitre 10. We recommend using the pH test kits rather than the pH probes because it will ensure more accurate and reliable results. To help lower your pH (making it more acidic), try ‘Yates Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfur’. It helps creates ideal growing conditions for acid loving plants such as camellias, azaleas, magnolias and blueberries. It’s an easy-to-use liquid formulation, it can be diluted and applied without the dust and the mess associated with traditional granular products.

For planting in pots we recommend using a premium azalea and camellia potting mix that has the ‘Australian standard red tick’.

Keep the soil moist for at least a few weeks after transplanting to ensure they won’t dry out during this stressful time.

In regards to cuttings, the best time of year to to do Azalea and Rhododendron cuttings are in midsummer to Autumn. We recommend applying ‘Yates Clonex Rooting Hormone Gel Red’ to semi-hardwood cuttings.

If you do have any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the Yates team again.

Joyful gardening!
Kind regards,

Yates Horticulturist

Answered: 09:14AM, 10 May 2019


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