WEATHER PERMITTING - Working with Mother Nature
In our business, we work closely with Mother Nature. In the colder months when we stipulate that an item is shipped “weather permitting”, that means temperatures outside our shipping facility in northwestern Connecticut and along the shipping route must be warm enough for tender plants to survive in unheated delivery trucks. Our practice of waiting for windows of milder weather may result in the occasional delay, but our customers tend to appreciate the care we take to make certain their plants arrive in the very best possible condition. Questions? Don’t hesitate to call our customer service staff at 1-800-411-6159.
HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.
WHEN WE SHIP
We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the Shipping Details box for each item. Please refer to the Shipping Details box to determine the earliest shipping time. Unless you specify otherwise, fertilizers, tools, and other non-plant items are shipped with your plants or bulbs. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at expected time of delivery.
We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
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Light: Place your potted Azalea where it will receive 6-8 hours of sun in winter (a spot next to a south-facing window is best). From April to September, provide 4-5 hours of sun (such as an east-facing window, which will give sufficient light and has cooler afternoon temperatures than a west-facing window does).
Watering: Keep the potting mix moist, but do not allow the pot to sit in water for more than an hour. Care should be taken to avoid letting the potting mix dry out completely--the plants may not recoved if allowed to wilt. The simplest way to water is to bring the pot to a kitchen sink and then water thoroughly until the excess drains from the bottom of the pot. It's time to water your Azalea again when the top 1/2" of the potting mix feels dry to the touch.
Temperature: Azaleas prefer an indoor temperature from 55-70°F.
Fertilizer: We recommend that you fertilize potted plants every 2-4 weeks during the growing season (generally April into September) and that you withhold fertilizer entirely during fall and winter, when most plants rest. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer designed for houseplants (such as 20-20-20, available at garden centers) mixed at 1/2 the rate suggested by the manufacturer.
After care: Remove spent blossoms as they fade to keep plants tidy, but be careful to avoid damaging buds or new growth at the base of the blossoms. These buds are the source of future growth and flowering. Pinch new shoots back in spring to keep your plants compact.
If you live in Zones 6-8, you may plant your Azalea in the ground once the danger of frost has passed in spring. Choose a site in full sun to partial shade (required in the South) with soil that is acid (pH 4.5 to 6.0), moisture-retentive but well-drained, and rich in organic matter. If necessary, amend the soil with organice matter prior to planting. After planting, we recommend applying a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch (such as compost, shredded leaves, or pine straw) to conserve moisture and supply nutrients for growth. Keep mulch an inch or so away from the stem to discourage disease.
You can also repot your Azalea using a peat-moss-based potting mix. Then move it outdoors to a spot in partial shade after the danger of frost has passed. To enable it to set flower buds for the following winder, leave the plant outdoors until frost threatens. Then bring it back inside.