Will my azalea/rhododendron be alright?


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So I bought a rhododendron with azaleas blooming on it today and I planted it. I added organic fertilizer, added leaf mulch, and watered 3 buckets. But one thing I forgot was to loosen the potting mix soil and the roots after taking it out of the pot. I just put it in the hole just like it was. Will this cause any problems?
 
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In 40-plus years of gardening l don't believe I've ever deliberately loosened up the root ball or soil when transplanting anything. And l have a kill rate of about zero with transplants. :) So I'm thinking you're fine.
 
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In 40-plus years of gardening l don't believe I've ever deliberately loosened up the root ball or soil when transplanting anything. And l have a kill rate of about zero with transplants. :) So I'm thinking you're fine.
So do you just take it out of the pot and put it in the hole just as is?
 
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So do you just take it out of the pot and put it in the hole just as is?

Yes.
If that's something you're not supposed to do it's news to me. A week ago today I planted about 20 perennials, just (basically) dumped them in holes in the ground like l usually do. They're doing great and l expect they'll thrive as usual. :)
 
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So do you just take it out of the pot and put it in the hole just as is?
I think you are thinking of trees. When trees come in pots many times they have been in the pots for some time and either have become root bound or have encircling roots in which case you must loosen them up or in case of encircling roots cut them with a sharp knife. But with basic plant transplants just stick them in the ground
 
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Ah I see. I was wondering because I am interning at a botanical garden right now and when we usually plant small plants(not big shrubs), ex: vincas, coral bells, my boss tells me to tease the roots out and loosen them so they don't become too compacted and that the root should be free.
 
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Ah I see. I was wondering because I am interning at a botanical garden right now and when we usually plant small plants(not big shrubs), ex: vincas, coral bells, my boss tells me to tease the roots out and loosen them so they don't become too compacted and that the root should be free.
I assume you are talking about transplants in small starter containers. By taking them out of the starter containers and manually loosening up the roots you are taking a chance of damaging some of them. The best way to loosen up the roots of small root bound transplants is to saturate them in water before removing them from the containers. This does two things: It loosens up the soil and root system and it alleviates any need to physically manipulate the roots, plus, it also helps prevent transplant shock and the need to water in the plant until it is somewhat accustomed to its new environment.
 
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After 26 years of gardening, I have never loosened the soil from the shape of the pot. I just plunk it quickly into the hole from the pot. Making sure the hole has good growth room around the new baby. In fact, it bothers me if the new plant drops it soil around the roots as I am moving it to its new home. And I do not go crazy with fertilizing or leaf mulch. But in a very new garden area, I may have inspected the soil long before new babies arrive and if the soil is too hard etc. I will work that area first with peat and top soil.

as I am thinking about it, I think its also common sense. if you run across a pot of something, and it has become pot bound and really hard, then I would help it some prior to settling it into a new home.
 
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Oh well thats a relief. Thank god I didn't loosen the soil and roots! And Chuck thats sounds like a nice idea about the soaking. I also thought that loosening the roots would damage it but my boss says that ripping a few of them shouldn't cause any problems. Does it depend on the root I guess?
Esther Knapicius, are you referring to the rhododendrons about you not being crazy about fertilizing and leaf mulch? Or just any transplants in general?
 
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@Heruga with rhododendrons and azalea I would not put leaf mulch in the hole of the baby. However with those shrubs I do leave the naturally fallen leaves longer in that area into summer so the rain will naturally break down the leaves and they will slowly leech down into the grown to the roots of those shrubs. And, any plants in general I would not put leaf mulch in the new hole. In fact I rarely fertilize, maybe once every other year. In all my gardens I never rake the leaves out right away in the fall. only on the lawn area. So sometime in the dry days of February will I rake out the gardens, by that time whatever the plants needed they got and some protection also.
 

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