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Azalea Bush - Too Large

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barmy | 13:55 Tue 02nd Jun 2020 | Gardening
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I have an azalea bush but it is too large for the container. I can't get a large container so was thinking I could split the root into 2 and prune the foliage down to make 2 smaller bushes. Would this work?

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Simon

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nope. You can't safely split azaleas. Large containers are available at amazon or you could plant it in the ground.
I think, if you try to split it you'l end up with two dead trees!
i agree, a larger container or a bigger hole plus ericaceous compost.
It may work, but only if it is a 'twin trunk' tree.
Azaleas benefit from an occasional root prune, but that should be done very shortly after flowering has finished which is also the time to prune the branches down. However it is best to only do one operation at a time.
Splitting a tree is risky and you should be prepared to lose it altogether if you do attempt it.
I did it.... and was also completely unaware they were supposed to have ericaceous soil. They have both survived for 12 years now.
Azalea's, like their close relatives Rhododendrons are said by all the textbooks, to hate root disturbance.
Anyone who has succeeded in root division on these tree/bushes has done a very good job.
or been lucky :)
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Thanks all for your comments conflicting as they were! I might prune the roots and upper areas to make a smaller plant.
Azaleas are a popular subject for Bonsai, especially Satsuki azaleas. Occasional root pruning and the replacement of soil around the root ball helps keep them healthy.
I had a three trunk Satsuki azalea and made a single trunk and a double trunk out of it.
It is, I agree, very tricky and risky and I also agree that the best bet would be a larger container. But it can be done and may be an interesting project if the plant is of no particular emotional significance.

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