I have an azalea I’d like to move to a different location in the yard. Can I dig it up and move it now?
Now is not the best time to transplant azaleas, but start planning to make the move, because you can do it soon. The U.S. National Arboretum Web site and the Azalea Society of America both suggest early fall, after the weather has cooled a bit, as a good time to transplant an azalea.
When the time comes, start by preparing the new planting site (azaleas need good drainage, partial sun, and slightly acid soil). Dig a wide hole, but not a deep one because azaleas have fairly shallow roots. Dig the azalea with as big a root ball as you can manage, then lift the plant by the root ball, not by the trunk, and move it to its new location. If it’s a very large plant, you may want to work a tarp or a big square of burlap under the root ball, then tie it up and lift it using the tarp (probably not a one-person job).
When you place the root ball in its new hole, make sure it’s at the same level as it had been growing. Fill the hole with soil and water thoroughly, and add a couple of inches of pine straw mulch. Water it again the next day, and at least once a week for several weeks, the Azalea Society suggests. Water deeply if the plant begins to look wilted.
Garden events in Middle Tennessee
Sept. 15: Urban Chicken Appreciation Day at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, 10 – 11 a.m., celebrates feathered backyard friends. Learn how to get started in backyard chicken keeping in a session led by Bonnie Bowles. Call (862-8539) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register.
Sept. 18: Perennial Plant Society’s monthly meeting at Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall begins with refreshments at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7 p.m. Speaker is Terry White.
Sept. 18: Orchid Society of Middle Tennessee meets at 7 p.m. at Cheekwood. Member Alice Jensen will present information and photos of her trip to Costa Rica. The evening begins with a social at 6:30, open to all.
Sept. 22 & 23: Many rare and unusual houseplants will be available at the Tennessee Gesneriad Society’s annual Flower Show and plant sale, which will be held at Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall. The event is open to the public 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Sunday. To learn more contact Julie Mavity-Hudson at Julie.email@example.com.
Sept. 27: Middle Tennessee Hosta Society meets at 6:30 p.m. at Cheekwood. Speaker is Susan Webb of Hurricane Valley Ornamentals in Gurley, Ala. Topic is “Growing Miniature Hostas in Hypertufa Containers.”
Sept. 29: Herb Society of Nashville’s Herb Day at Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall: “Cooking & Gardening with Native Plants.” 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; admission is $40 plus Cheekwood gate fee. To register: www.herbsocietynashville.org.