How To Landscape Azaleas?

air layering

Q: I read your technique of removing potting soil and pruning the roots of a houseplant that’s rootbound. Is the same technique used for landscape azaleas? 

A: Yes, when you unpot a landscape shrub before planting you’ll almost always find roots circling inside the pot. This will prevent the shrub from rapidly growing new roots as it establishes itself in that spot. Though it seems drastic the easiest way to deal with this is to use a sharp knife to make four vertical slices in the sides of the rootball. When that’s done, remove the bottom 1″ of roots entirely. Splay the four quarters slightly apart when planting. This encourages the roots to grow outward to look for water and fertilizer.

  • Advertisement