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Azalea - Need some advice to a couple of questions if anyone can help?

I've got an Azalea (about 16 yrs old) I had to rescue from my front garden.  Wasn't thriving and getting choked out by Japanese Anemone.  I dug it up, removed as much of the Japanese anemone as I could and potted it about 4 years ago. It began to thrive again but the Japanese anemone is still coming up through it. I keep pulling it out but it keeps on coming back. 

Any suggestions how to get rid of this?  Last year I thought it was dying off again, so I'd planned on gambling with it by striping it of soil and weeding out that pesky anemone but never got round to it  :/   And I don't really want to risk it now as it has this oddly deformed shape about it, from all it's struggle to survive, that I just find so appealing :) 

Right now it is in glorious bloom, dark pink flowers (sorry, don't know what type it is).

I have just got a gorgeous slate grey square planter that would set off it's colour perfectly. And I was considering transferring it like I would if I'd just bought it from a garden centre but I'd still have to contend with the anemone.


  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,052
    I have two suggestions that might work. One is to lift the azalea once it has finished flowering and soak the roots in water. You might be able to trace and detach the anemone roots if you can see them clearly and then replant it.

    The other idea is to wear gloves and paint the anemone leaves with a systemic weedkiller gel making sure they are not touching the azalea.  I am not a fan of that idea myself, but if it means saving your much loved azalea, then sometimes needs must.
    SW Scotland
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,684
    Sounds like the job you put off last year needs to be done this year. Best do it in autumn now. You will need to strip as much soil off the shrub as possible. Then re-pot with fresh ericacaeous compost after that. Sounds like the Japanese Anemone has got tangled in and around the root area. 
  • lollblollb Posts: 3
    Thankyou @Purplerain and @Borderline, I think even as I wrote my question, I knew what the answer was going to be  :/  Last year it was quite bare, I thought it was finished and was going to compost it...I guess it realised it's imminent demise and suddenly thrived with a mad blooming session.  So it's got it's reprieve and I'll strip it down in the autumn and replant (as I've done with bonsai in the past), then see how it fairs next year :)

    As for weed killer, I'm not a fan, I prefer to just dig them out.  But I have tried it on the Japanese Anemone, it just keeps on coming back in the bed I removed the Azalea from.  It's as bad as the buttercups and some geranium I've got, it just keeps on spreading underground and popping up all over the place.
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