Trimming Rhododendrons and Azaleas

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Trimming Rhododendrons and Azaleas

Post by tree68 on May 28th 2008, 8:19 am

Trimming Rhododendrons and Azaleas (from Mike McGroarty)

Here in Northern Ohio, zone 5, Rhododendrons and Azaleas
are in full bloom right now. Rhododendrons and Azaleas
start making new flower buds for next year soon after they
finish blooming. So the ideal time to trim them is right after
they finish blooming. That way you cut off the seed pods
from this years flowers, and get the plant trimmed before it
has a chance to set any new flower buds. Once trimmed,
the plant will set new flower buds and your plants will be
loaded up with blooms for next year.

Most people are afraid to trim Rhododendrons because they
aren't sure how to go about it. I just take my hedge shears and
cut away, just like I would any other plant. The result? A
beautiful plant that is tight and full, and loaded with blooms
each year.

Most Rhododendrons and Azaleas are slow growing evergreens
so they don't need or like much fertilizer. I never fertilize mine.
If you want to make them really happy, just make sure they are
planted in good soil that drains well.

If you have a Rhododendron that is doing poorly, chances are
it's in an area that stays too wet. Maybe back by a wall where
a downspout drains and the soil stays moist all the time. They
hate that. Raise it up and put good topsoil around it. You'll
see a difference in the plant.

(more personal stuff about Mike and Pam)
http://www.freeplants.com/stuff.htm

Have a great week!
-Mike McGroarty
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tree68

Posts : 390
Join date : 2008-01-17
Age : 78

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Re: Trimming Rhododendrons and Azaleas

Post by tree68 on June 17th 2008, 6:42 am

another one here....
Helpful Insects for Your Garden

Have you seen any baby ladybugs in your garden?

They may be on your plants right now, quietly working away for you in a miniature drama as they rid your plants of aphids,
spider mites and other small insects. Adult ladybugs also dine on insects, but it's their young - the larvae - that are the most voracious killers.

Adult ladybugs will seek out plants that are infected with aphids and they'll lay clusters of tiny yellow eggs on the plant. Within a few days the tiny ladybug larvae hatch and
begin hunting for food.

Ladybug larvae look much like tiny black alligators with orange stripes or spots on their backs. When they first hatch, they
are no larger than this comma , but they grow quickly and aggressively search for food.

Recently I noticed a heavy aphid population on the new growth of a Rose of Sharon shrub. I also noticed some ladybugs on
the plant, so instead of spraying the plant I decided to watch Nature take its course. Soon I observed many ladybug larvae
busily scouring the plant and within a week there were no more aphids. These little guys do a great job!

There are other beneficial insects that will help you keep a healthy garden. It's important to recognize these good insects
so they aren't inadvertently destroyed. Many of them have the appearance of being harmful, but they really aren't...unless
you're an aphid.

To learn more about beneficial insects and to see photos of the good guys of the insect world, go to this page:
http://entweb.clemson.edu/eiis/pdfs/bb1.pdf

(more personal stuff about Mike and Pam)
http://www.freeplants.com/stuff.htm

Have a great week!
-Mike McGroarty

P.S. The message board is here:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/519353/
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tree68

Posts : 390
Join date : 2008-01-17
Age : 78

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