Azalea: Patience Leads to Beauty

Unusual gardening patience paid off with this beautiful white Azalea, and the shrub finally looks like it’s going to make it.




I bought it for $2.99 at Home Depot. The Azalea earned “clearance” distinction by being beyond root bound.

Being a beginning gardener, I tore at the roots with my hands and popped the plant in the soil. The Azalea looked OK for three summers, but started to fade.

Digging it up the second time, the roots were still formed as the nursery pot. Out came the shovel for serious root chopping. It was live or die.

After two years of looking rough, the blooms came roaring back this spring. The Azalea will “make it” when branches start to grow.

Generally, I give plants and shrubs three or four years to get started. Extra time seems to have paid with this one. Unfortunately, not all of my clearance plant stories have a happy ending.

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