You can quickly learn how to plant encore azaleas in four easy steps. However, you will get a head start establishing these plants if you propagate them in the greenhouse. You can begin to and root encore azaleas indoors and then use the following techniques to grow them outdoors.
The collection of encore azaleas itself is extensive, so you’ll indeed find the one that matches your aesthetic and management requirements. However, the beauty of encore azaleas compared to other azaleas is that they tolerate conditions like sun exposure much better. With proper diligence from planting to maintenance, you should enjoy these reblooming azaleas for years to come.
How To Plant Encore Azaleas For Beginners
Step #1. Site preparation
Much like planting other plants, the UK gardener must first prepare the new location before bringing the plants to the site. Remember that it’s ideal for the plants to have no waiting time upon their arrival as you might risk drying their roots. So before anything else, dig a hole around 8 inches deep and amend the soil with organic material.
Digging and amendment will improve the fertility and drainage of the location to help establish the encore azaleas. You should also test the soil on your site to know what adjustments are necessary. For example, keep in mind that encore azaleas thrive in acidic soil.
Lastly, choose a site that receives around 6 hours of sunlight every day. However, it’s ideal for the plants to receive shade in the afternoon to prevent damaging the plants. Then, allocate a spacing among the azaleas by calculating their requirements based on maturity.
Step #2. Container removal
Once you have prepared the site, you can remove the plants from their container carefully. Removal with care is essential because a common practise among gardeners in the UK is to start the encore azaleas in the polytunnel to help them proliferate from propagation. Once they are the right size, you can transplant them to your British garden with minimal room for errors.
Starting plants in the polytunnel will always be advantageous because you are growing them in a stable environment. Growing plants in a stable environment should guarantee vigorous plants that can withstand the challenges outdoors. You can easily remove the encore azaleas from their container by tapping their pots to loosen them.
Ensure that you’re holding the base of the plant’s trunk as you slide it off the pot. Then, check the rootball for tangling, and loosen the ball itself with your fingers. Losing the ball will make it more comfortable to spread the roots in the hole later on.
Step #3. Planting
The best time to plant encore azaleas is during the autumn. This way, they will be healthy and mature enough to bloom by the following spring. Growing them is relatively straightforward as you’ll just set them in the hole with the middle of the plant at the centre.
Check the soil level because you want the rootball to be slightly above it. More so, the width of the hole itself should be twice the depth to anticipate the growth of your encore azaleas. Once you checked these requirements, fill and firm the area around the plant so it’ll remain upright and stable.
Step #4. Maintenance
Water and fertiliser
The last step for planting encore azaleas is maintaining them to ensure establishment by the following spring. Severe drought will affect the performance of the plant, so always keep soil moisture even during winter. You can also mulch to help conserve water and keep weeds at bay.
Once established, only water when necessary to prevent diseases and fungal infections. You must also be mindful to mulch away from the trunks to avoid mould growth. And as for feeding, you can fertilise after the last frost.
It would also be best to fertilise upon planting with a water-soluble fertiliser to help your plants grow. Then, fertilise every two weeks throughout the growing season as maintenance.
Location and trimming
Remember to protect your plants if the current condition is exceptionally windy. If you are underplanting zones 5 to 6, you will have to return the plants in the polytunnel during spring to protect them from the climate. Perhaps, you should consider this when planting outdoors and opt to keep the azaleas in the polytunnel year-round.
Otherwise, the plants will thrive without problems and will produce blooms successfully under zones 6 to 9. Lastly, you might be curious if you need to prune encore azaleas. The plants can benefit from pruning after every blooming period but may also be unnecessary, depending on the foliage’s density.
Common pests and problems
Encore azaleas are prone to azalea lace bugs and nocturnal black vine weevils. You can address these pests with insecticidal soap as soon as you notice them. Remember that the faster you address these pests, the easier it’ll be to eradicate them.
If you want something unique for your spring UK garden, consider adding encore azaleas to your bloom collection. You can quickly learn how to plant encore azaleas in four easy steps, and they should be ready to show off during the following season.
The best strategy is to start the plants in the polytunnel and transplant them in the UK garden during the autumn. Beginning in a polytunnel and then transplanting them will guarantee the establishment and prevention of drawbacks compared to directly propagating outdoors. Keep the ideal practices and location requirements of encore azaleas in mind, and you shouldn’t face any problems in their health or blooming.