Fall Cultural Notes For the Mid-Atlantic Region
Reprinted from the Mason Dixon Chapter newsletter, Oct. 1998
September and October are the best months to transplant rhododendrons and azaleas in the Mid-Atlantic area.
To insure success it is important that you do the following:
1. Select an adapted plant suitable for our region.
2. If you have not already done so, amend the soil (wide and shallow is the key - digging in 2-3 inches of equal parts of fine pine bark and sphagnum peat moss to a depth of 8 inches.
3. When plants are not root bound in the pot, remove at least 2 or 3 inches of root from the bottom of the root ball. Straighten circling roots by unwinding and pulling out. Dont worry if some roots are broken; they must get out of the circling mass and out of the potting mix. If roots are so tightly bound that you cant straighten them, return the plant to the retailer.
4. Plant only as deep as the top of the root ball; never put soil on top of the root ball.
5. Hold extended roots up and fill in under and around them so they stay out away from the root ball and into the surrounding soil.
6. Firm soil around roots with hands, not foot.
7. Mulch with pine bark and water well.
8. Put up a windbreak and sun screen for at least the first year.
9. Don't let roots dry out but don't over water.