Azaleas are of the most beautiful perennial shrubs you can plant in your yard. Crepe myrtle or crape myrtle is a native southern tree that thrives in US Hardiness zones 7 through 10. For these reasons, either of these species are a perfect choice for your Georgia yard.
Planting azaleas or crepe myrtles in your Georgia yard will give a seasonal color show with their signature blooms every year. While azaleas are easy to care for shrubs, they are slow growers well worth the effort and wait.
Of all the southern trees and plants, crepe myrtle and azaleas are among the most desired for their outstanding spring and summer display of blooms, as well as their brilliant fall colors. The georgiatreecare.wordpress.com team collected the following planting, blooming, toxicology, and care information for those wanting to add azaleas or crepe myrtles to their yard or landscape.
Crepe Myrtle Tree Care
Within two years of planting, these species develop a high tolerance to drought, heat, humidity, and will do well in practically any well-drained soil. They become robust to the point of resprouting even after being frozen solid.
Crepe myrtles are a low maintenance species. However, some planning is required before planting and there’s a bit of maintenance as they grow.
Planting – Location is crucial when planting a crepe myrtle. Select a location with well-drained soil that gets full sun. Planting in partial or full shade significantly reduces its capacity to flower and potentially reduces its lifespan.
Crepe myrtles have a very shallow and fibrous root system, which can spread out 3 to 4 times the diameter of the tree’s canopy. The planting location should be at least 5 to 10 feet away from cement pathways, driveways, foundations, and sidewalks.
Pruning – Little pruning is needed. Improper pruning will disrupt the development of a healthy branching system and in turn, leaves your tree deformed and extremely vulnerable to pests, weather, and fungi.
Planting and Caring for Azaleas
Planted in an appropriate location and supplied with the proper care, azaleas will thrive and give onlookers a springtime show of color annually.
Planting Season – Fall and spring are typically the best times for planting azaleas. In cooler regions like USDA Hardiness Zones 4 and 5, planting should happen in summertime. In warmer areas such as zone 9, planting can occur in the winter.
Planting Location – Sun tolerance varies by species. When planting azaleas, look for partly shaded areas, near hedges, beneath tree canopies, or on the east or north side of your home. Locations well sheltered from wind are best.
Soil Type and pH – Well-drained, moisture-retentive, and humus-rich soil offers the best growing conditions. Soil composed of heavy clay or with sandy properties needs a significant amount of organic material turned into it.
Azaleas will do best in acidic soil. A pH level of 4.5 to 6.0 is needed to provide the best health and growth conditions.
Azalea Care for Your Georgia Landscape
Azaleas and crape myrtles are gorgeous additions to any yard or landscape. However, before planting them, it is crucial to know not only what you are planting, but how to plant it, and how to care for it.
Thus far, we’ve discussed how to properly plant and water azaleas and crepe myrtles. We outlined how to choose the right location and how to prepare the soil for both of these species.
Without proper planting and care, these trees will struggle and may fail to reach maturity, becoming susceptible to infestations and disease. By following the above guidance before, during, and after planting, your azalea or crepe myrtle will respond with healthy growth and beautiful blooms in the coming seasons.