If the South had a beauty pageant for shrubs, azaleas would take the crown. Learn how to plant them like a pro with this easy how-to from the Grumpy Gardener.
Some of the most popular plants that we have in the South are azaleas. So here's how to plant it like pro, just like me. Our first step is we have to dig the hole and in order to do that we're gonna do, we're gonna use two really high tech pieces of equipment. One is called a shovel and the other is called My foot. When you dig the hole, you wanna dig it deep enough so that the top of the root ball is just about even with the soil surface, or maybe a quarter of an inch above. You don't wanna plant it too deeply. You also want to dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball. The reason for that is You want to loosen up all the soil that's around that plant and make it a good environment for roots to spread out into. Once you take the azalea out of the pot, the first thing you want to do is check the root system. If it's been growing in the same pot for too long a lot of times it develops a condition we call, Root bound, and that means that the roots are wrapped tightly around each other, they will spin around the edge of the pot and form a tight ball. And if you plant it like that, the roots will never grow out into the surrounding soil and the plant will be stunted. So, if you have one like that, you wanna gently pull apart the roots, spread them with your hand, so that they will fill out to the surrounding soil. And then we're just gonna fill in around the rot wall with all the excavated soil. And then tamp it every once in a while to firm it, So that the plant doesn't settle too deeply in the soil and you have it planted at the right height. I want you to put a layer of mulch over the top of that Azalea. The absolute perfect mulch for an Azalea is pine straw, I like to put on a layer of maybe about one to two inches. It's going to keep down weeds and its also going to keep the soil moist so it won't dry out as fast and its going to provide an environment for your Azalea that its really going to like now after you've planted an Azalea its absolutely critical that you get water to the base of the plant dont just Sprinkle the top of the soil and think you've done the job. You need to get water all the way down to the bottom of that root ball and soak the whole thing before it can get going. This drives out all the air pockets in the soil and it also hydrates the plant and gets it off to a good start. Newly established plants Need to have regular watering because their root systems aren't very big yet. So for a plant like this, I would probably, after you've planted it in the spring or the early summer, maybe water it really well once or twice a week. Isn't that a beautiful flower? Now you know everything there is to know about how to properly plant an azalea. And as Grumpy says, so shall you do. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]