2 Encore, or not 2 Encore?
That is the question. I bought 3 Autumn Twist Encore Azaleas 3-4 years ago. White blossoms with pink streaks in the throat. Something light and subtle. They haven’t grown particularly well, and also had dark fuchsia blossoms in addition to the white. Then I realized each of the 3 pots had two plants in them. Yes, even though Encores cost a little more than some azaleas, the grower had included an extra one in each pot. Maybe the grower got the stock mixed up/unlabeled, so put one of each in a few hundred pots and labeled some Autumn Twist, some Autumn Empress or Autumn Sundance, and felt the customer would at least receive ONE of the ones they wanted!
But I very much did NOT want fuchsia in the area where I want these to grow and mature and give me loveliness for many years. So, yesterday, I saw fuchsia buds on one and said “Now is the time to do this”. And I did. I tried to wiggle the roots apart, like when dividing perennials, but that was entirely impossible. Then I got the huge butcher knife from the kitchen, then the pruning shears. It took a while. And I don’t know if either of them will live. And will there be root stock in each of them, from the opposite color, that will shoot up and produce the opposite color blossoms again?
Now that I have divided one twosome, I’m not sure I want to tackle the other two twosomes. But I REALLY don’t want the fuchsia in that spot and I cannot just kill the fuchsia trunk by lopping it off. Truth is, as soon as I get some blossom color id, I will probably do this again! I’m thinking I will write my story to Encore, on their ‘Contact Us’ area of the website, and maybe they will send me a coupon for a free plant or something. I am still feverishly looking for one or two Encore Autumn Moonlight and Encore Autumn Belle. So if anyone finds them, call me immediately and I will jump in the truck and go get me one, at least.
The deep-thinking on this leaves me with this question: Will the trauma of cutting down through the double root ball be surpassed with the healthiness of two root balls not having to compete with each other? The double root ball was so root dense that I now know why they could never hold water long. I will update you on this next spring. Send your thoughts if you have some thoughts on this situation.
The 2 Encores growing together.
Soaking the double root ball to ease the division.
Autumn Twist, back in the original spot.
Maybe – Autumn Empress or Autumn Sundance.