Forsythias and Azaleas Bring Vibrant Color to March
If you have not already added these early spring color explosions to your landscape, do it now! For years to come, you’ll be grateful that you did as they chase away any leftover winter grays with vibrant yellow, pinks and reds!
Forsythia are extremely fast-growing – as much 2-4 feet in a single season! Some homeowners like to let them grow wild and others keep on top of pruning in order to add add an orderly appearance to the bush – it’s just a matter of taste. Generally pruning on Forsythia is suggested to be managed immediately after they flower and selective thinning to tipping can be done thru the growing season. They grow best in either full sun or partial shade and even after their gorgeous bright yellow blooms have passed, they provide pretty green foliage in your landscape the rest of the season. Birds are particularly fond of using the thick foliage of forsythia for nesting and shelter! They should be fertilized only once a year in early spring with a high phosphorous fertilizer like Hi-Yield Superphosphate to promote bright blooms!
Azaleas have it all – fabulous color, an easy-to-grow nature and they are not afraid of shade. While full shade will keep them from blooming, partial shade allows them to grow AND bloom – and WHAT a bloom it is! Our pros like to use Fertilome Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Food added to the soil when planting for the best blooming results. Though Azaleas can be quite easy to grow, they do prefer good soil preparation which is a key to a successful start. Heavy amendment with an organic soil condition such as our preferred Daddy Pete’s Composted Manure is a great selection. Amend the soil with a 50% blend of Daddy Pete’s to that of the existing soil. Use caution to not plant Azaleas too deep keeping their original root system’s surface exposed at soil level covering only with a 3” layer of pine bark mulch. After planting, apply liquid Fertilome Root Stimulator to the root system once every 7-10 days for 2-3 applications for a great start on their rooting. Use Fertilome Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Food to apply at the soil surface several times during the growing season after flowering has completed.
(Note – there are dozens of colors and types available and we’ll highlight them in next month’s newsletter, including one that blooms over and over throughout the season instead of the azalea’s traditional once-per-season blooming habit!)