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Over the months of winter look out for the many gardens filled with azaleas, and their vibrantly coloured pink, mauve, orange and golden yellow flowers.

Azaleas are in the rhododendron family Ericaceae. These plants originate from Japan, China and Korea. There are three main types of azalea - the indica hybrids, the karume hybrids and the mollis hybrids. The indicas spot flower from autumn through winter, with their main flush in spring.

Azaleas grow well in a range of climates and flourish in Sydney's North West. They thrive in a slightly acidic soil with good drainage.

Azaleas look great planted in volumes in a garden beds. We recomend you use plenty of compost - as it acts like blotting paper around the roots, and keeps them moist but not over wet. Use a mulch, even chopped up leaves, on the soil surface.

Liquid fertilise and keep moist during the growth time over spring and summer. Though we tend to use Yates Dynamic Lifter around August - September to bring them on.

Unfortunately azaleas have a reputation of being prone to pests and diseases. For example, look out for azalea lace bug on the leaves. A sign of this sap- sucking bug is brown and silvery mottled leaves. To control this it’s best to spray in spring, at the start of the growth season. We suggest seeking advice from your local nursery about possible sprays because some are poisonous. The other method of control is to prune the damaged branches. Prune after flowering for plenty of new growth.

During a wet winter you might find some of the flowers on the indicas become mushy and brown. This is called azalea petal blight. Spray this with a fungicide, or simply remove the flowers and dispose of them.

Azaleas can also grow long, rather spindly looking stems so prune these off after flowering to ensure a compact bush.

Recently much work has been done hybridizing azaleas, so they are more tolerant of a wider range of soils and climates, and there are always new varieties and colours on the market to look out for.

Dural Lawn Mowing - Servicing Dural and Sydney's North West
Call 1300 882 787

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