Azaleas are perennials you can grow indoors or outdoors. They bloom in the spring and summer outdoors, but indoor blooming times vary due to greenhouse propagation. Azaleas have dark green foliage and form buds for blooming when kept at the right temperature and given the right amounts of light and moisture. Azaleas will brighten up any room in your home or add colour to the office decor.
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Things you need
- Water-soluble fertiliser
Place the azalea in bright but indirect sunlight when about to bloom. Keep it entirely in the shade, out of intense, indirect sunlight when not blooming. Ideally, the temperature needs to remain at around 7.22 to 12.7 degrees C. at night and go no higher than 20 degrees C. in the day.
Water the azalea to keep the soil moist. Touch the soil surface to see if it feels dry. When the soil feels dry, water the plant, but do not saturate it. Never let the soil dry out completely.
Apply a water-soluble fertiliser to the azalea twice a year when the plant is not blooming. Use a fertiliser made for acid-loving plants, and dilute it with water according to the package directions.
Prune the azalea when you notice dead and damaged foliage, branches and blooms. Remove any plant material that rests on the soil so that it does not decompose and cause disease in the plant.
Place the azalea in an area with low light and a cool temperature between -1.11 and 10.0 degrees C in the winter. When the buds have set and the azalea begins to flower again, place it back in indirect sunlight with temperatures around 20 degrees C.
Transplant the azalea every two to three years. Place it in a bigger pot at each transplanting to allow it plenty of room to grow.
Tips and warnings
- Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to a gallon of water to increase the soil's acidity. Azaleas love lower pH, but don't overdo it.
- Place a humidity tray under the azalea in dry locations, resting the plant atop continuously wet pebbles. Be sure it's base is never in standing water, however. The pebbles should raise it above the water level.
- If the azalea does not bloom, the temperatures may be too warm in your home. Turn down the thermostats in your home at night to promote budding on the plant
- Azalea plants are poisonous. Keep them away from children and pets.
- Do not over-fertilise. It can burn the plant and cause serious damage.
- Always keep the soil moist, and never let it dry out.
- Position indoor azaleas away from drafts to prevent buds falling off.
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