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Planting Azaleas Properly on 'Gardening'


UGA CAES File Photo

Walter Reeves

On this week's "Gardening in Georgia, trails manager Hank Bruno of Callaway Gardens gives host Walter Reeves some tips on properly planting an azalea.

The show airs on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Television. It will be rebroadcast at noon on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Bruno adds lots of organic matter to a well-dug area 5 feet across. Taking the azalea from its pot, he shoves his hand up through the center of the root ball and shakes loose nearly half of the pine bark media.

This allows him to spread the roots widely in the planting hole and forces them to adapt to their new home. After mulching the surrounding soil, he waters the area thoroughly.

Saving Seeds

In another segment, Reeves shows how to properly save the seeds of blooming plants for next spring. In the fall, nothing is left of many plants' blossoms but their seed heads.

Reeves separates the seeds from the chaff, places them into individual envelopes and labels them. Then he puts all of his seed envelopes into a pint jar.

To keep the air dry in the jar, he puts 2 tablespoons of dry milk powder in a piece of tissue and wraps a rubber band around it. He drops this packet into the jar and twists the lid on tightly.

Then he places the jar full of seeds in the refrigerator crisper drawer. This will keep seeds dry and cool during the winter. They'll be ready to be planted in April.

Fall Bloomers

Finally, Katherine Hayden of Callaway Gardens shows Reeves many plants that produce fall blossoms, including:

  • Eye-catching yellow flowers on large cassia plants.
  • Mexican sage, "Bengal Tiger" canna, artemisia, pineapple sage, Salvia guaranitica and chrysanthemums (sage and salvia are favorites of hummingbirds and pollinator insects).
  • Two new plants: the ornamental potato "Ace of Spades" and variegated St. Augustine grass.
"Gardening in Georgia" airs each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. It's rebroadcast every Saturday at noon. The show's Web site provides further information.

The show is produced especially for Georgia gardeners by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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