Houseplants Published: June 28, 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:
Azalea (Azalea) - a real beauty, capricious and demanding. In this article, we'll show you how to tame an azalea and make it bloom. So, about some of the features of azalea care in your questions and answers from specialists.
The lowest temperature that a room azalea can withstand is 5-6 degrees Celsius. At temperatures below 8 degrees, it is not recommended to spray the azalea with water. At such temperatures, watering should be done carefully - the water evaporates more slowly, the earth will be wet for a long time and, moreover, cold.
In the fall and winter, azaleas need a cool content. Before the formation of new buds, the optimal temperature is 6-8 degrees and rare watering. But when the buds appear, the temperature is gradually increased to 12-15 degrees.
If a person needs a well-heated housing during the winter time, then your azalea just needs coolness at this time, and you will have to look for a solution to this problem. The way out can be a warm balcony or loggia, in which heaters are not installed, and where the azalea will feel comfortable.
Another option: on a regular window, you will have to equip the so-called third frame. To do this, a piece of glass of the appropriate size is fixed on the edge of an ordinary window sill so that it does not allow the flow of warm air from the battery to pass to the plant. For the same purpose, you can use an old aquarium with rectangular glasses. If the apartment is very warm in winter, then it is better not to glue the inner frame and not to insulate it in any way, or maybe you can even leave it slightly ajar. It makes sense to sacrifice some amenities for the azalea's wellness. She will return these troubles to you a hundredfold during flowering.
Remember: during the formation of flower buds, the temperature should be at the level of 6-8 degrees Celsius, and after two months you can already increase the temperature to 12-15 degrees.
In nature, there are azalea varieties that shed their leaves immediately after flowering and there are those that do not. If you have an azalea shedding leaves, then after flowering you need to place it in a cool, dark place. All other azaleas also need coolness, but the lighting should remain bright.
Adult azaleas are transplanted only by the transshipment method so as not to damage the root system.
Do not cover pots of azaleas with ice tightly. You can spread ice next to the pot, but it melts quickly. Therefore, the effectiveness of this method of air cooling is questionable.
Do not water azaleas with hard chlorinated water from a central water supply. Rainwater can be used if the environment in which you live is good. But it is better to filter or settle the water for irrigation, you can even slightly acidify it with lemon juice, but so that the acid does not taste.
The frequency of watering is directly dependent on the ambient temperature. Knowing whether it's time to water your azalea is very simple: the soil in the flower pot should always be moist. If it happens that the soil has dried, then you will have to immerse the pot of azalea in water so that the soil is saturated with moisture. Remember to loosen the soil in the pot.
The water temperature for irrigating azaleas is 20 degrees. Read more on how to care for an azalea.
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Azalea is a very demanding beauty. Providing her with the necessary conditions is not easy. But in case of proper care, it will reward with generous flowering.
Everyone has heard about the complex and whimsical nature of azaleas. The ideal conditions for her are, firstly, coolness, secondly, fresh air (azaleas are not at all afraid of drafts), and thirdly, clean water for irrigation. It should be light on the windowsill, but not hot - there is no place for direct sunlight. Therefore, the plant feels better in the western, eastern and even northern windows.
If the apartment is warm and dry from central heating, then the azalea must be sprayed several times a day, covering the flowers with a palm - if water gets in, they will fall off or rot. Plus, from time to time, the azalea pot can be immersed in a container of water for an hour or two. Only the soil in the pot should remain slightly damp, but not wet (so that the water does not stagnate).
One of the most important conditions for the successful maintenance of azaleas is the correct soil. You can make the mixture yourself (the soil must be loose and acidic and must contain coniferous soil, peat and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1), or you can buy a special soil for azaleas with an acid reaction. Azaleas have a shallow root system better in wide and flat pots.
In winter and autumn, azaleas are fed every two weeks. Fertilizers are applied in the evening after watering. For feeding, use a special fertilizer or solution "Kemira-wagon" (2 g per 1 liter of water). It is also good to water azaleas with special acidifiers for plants that require acidic soils. For example, acidified water (2 g citric acid per 1 liter of water).
The threat to azaleas are spider mites, gray rot, spotting. So that the azaleas are not affected by fungal diseases, every 10-12 days they are treated with 1% Bordeaux liquid. As a reward for such attention and patience, the azalea blooms again profusely.
After flowering, dried flowers are removed, and the shoots are pruned. It is advisable to do this before March 25. And then, as it grows further, the shoots will need to be pinched regularly so that the bush does not stretch out.
In summer, it is better to take the azalea out into the garden and bury the pot in the ground. If you put it on a balcony or loggia, do not forget to protect it from the sun. And of course, continue to water regularly to keep the clod dry and humidify the air around the plant.
In the fall, before the onset of frost, the azalea is brought into the house. If possible, place the pot between the frames, where the temperature is 8-12 ° C (this is especially important for late-flowering varieties), or keep it on the terrace at 2-4 ° C until November or even December-January. With this mode, the leaves of the plant do not fall off. But if you notice that they have begun to turn yellow, then urgently bring the plant into a warm room. For azaleas to bloom again, they need a temperature of 18–20 ° C. At this time, the plant is often sprayed, but only until the color of the buds begins.
Azalea pleases with its flowering for only 2 months from November to April. After that, you need special care for the plant. When the azalea is finished blooming, it is necessary to remove all the buds along with the pedicels. Pruning a plant after flowering is a must-have procedure that will help preserve the flower. Do not forget to water the azalea during this period (it needs abundant watering). From March to September, spray the plant with settled water, and in the heat, place a tray with gravel and water under the flower pot.
Leaves that have changed color also need to be removed. After the end of flowering, about a month later, new shoots will appear on the shoots, which need to be pinned. A similar procedure is done 3 times a year.
The last time they do this is in late July or early August. For azaleas, the pinching procedure is mandatory, this increases the intensity of flowering. If, after the appearance of buds, young shoots have formed near them, they must be removed.
When the plant has faded in the spring, prune the strongly elongated and weak shoots and transplant the azalea.
Indoor varieties of Rhododendron are a frequent visitor on the shelves of flower shops, therefore buying a miniature shrub for your collection will not be difficult.
A suitable plant can be selected both in one of the commercial outlets of the city, and directly from the manufacturer, at a thematic exhibition, or "by hand", having studied the numerous offers on the sites of private advertisements on the Internet.
Check out the photo of the azalea purchased from the store:
Azalea is considered a capricious houseplant, but with proper care, problems will not arise, and the aristocrat will delight you with an abundance of luxurious flowers.
When purchasing an indoor flower, you must understand whether your conditions meet: lighting, temperature regime, air humidity in the natural environment in which this sissy grows. It is important to study the features of azalea care.
Another growing method is hydroponics. In specialized stores, ready-made soils for acidophilic (lovers of "sour") plants are sold.
When planting plants in purchased soil, it is important to ensure that it does not dry out, but also does not cake from moisture, otherwise the earth will turn sour and a sooty fungus will develop. To ensure air permeability to the soil, it is necessary to add perlite, but in no case moss.
Azalea prefers bright light, but exposure to the leaves of sunlight causes burns, vegetative parts turn yellow, dry and fall off, therefore lighting should be bright, but diffuse.
In winter, the azalea should be placed on the windowsill on the south side, in the summer - on the east.
Requires high humidity. Growing in a hot apartment can destroy the plant, so an additional container of water can be installed near the flower pot. Daily spraying of foliage is necessary.
Azalea is demanding on water quality. On the Internet, you can find information that irrigation should be carried out only with distilled or rainwater.
Water hardness has a detrimental effect on plants
Azalea is no exception. Therefore, you need to spray with boiled water.
Once a week, you need to water the plant with water with the addition of citric acid (1 tsp for 2 liters of water). This is necessary to maintain normal soil acidity.
After each watering, drain the remaining water from the sump
Azalea does not like both drying out and waterlogging of an earthen coma. With the arrival of autumn, watering is reduced and the flower is prepared for a dormant period.
Do not loosen the soil near the plant, as you can damage the delicate root system.
Some growers, in order to water the plant with melt water, bring snow from the street and spread it on the soil surface. This method is only suitable for greenhouses where the azaleas are kept cool at all times.
Watering with cold water leads to a loss of decorative effect and to the cessation of flowering.
It is recommended not to replant, but to transfer the plants to a larger pot. Young azaleas are transplanted annually, old specimens - once every 2 years. Before removing the azalea from the pot, water it well so that the earthen lump does not crumble. After transshipment, a void is formed, which is filled with fresh substrate.
Azalea has a superficial root system, so it is grown in a low pot
Abundant flowering depends on proper stem pruning and pinching of the tops. Young shoots are pinched in May, leaving 4-5 leaves. Do not leave shoots near flower buds - they must be removed.
If the azalea grows in a lush bush with beautiful glossy foliage, remember, the flowering will be poor!
Keeping in a cool room will extend the flowering period
Up to 4 buds bloom from one flower bud. As the bloom fades, you need to remove wilted flowers and seed pods so that they do not take away the strength from the azalea.
At the end of summer, flower buds are laid on the tops of the shoots. Therefore, it is required to cut the azalea in time so that by the end of the growing season a sufficient number of apical shoots can form.
In other words: all shoots of the previous year are removed, as well as poorly formed, sluggish, weak.
Indoor flower pruning
When pruning, close branches should be removed one by one to ensure normal development. Formative pruning allows you to get a beautiful plant with laid buds and a voluminous crown.
The bushy shape is the easiest to obtain:
Forming an azalea in the form of a tree is also not difficult:
You can form an azalea in the form of a ball: early varieties are pruned in late March - mid-April, late - May-early June.
At home, for the propagation of azaleas, seed propagation, rooting of shoots, division of the mother bush and cuttings are used. The most affordable way is cuttings, the most difficult is sowing seeds.
To get plants from seeds requires a lot of effort and only a great desire, and knowledge of agricultural techniques will help grow a flower. For sowing, you need to buy high quality seeds. Seeds germinate for a long time and reluctantly.
You need to sow in a certain soil, which is bought in specialized stores. You can make the mixture yourself. It includes turf, leafy soil and sand. You need to add some peat.
After sowing, you need to spray the soil surface with a fine spray, cover with glass and put in a well-lit place.
For germination, seeds need a temperature of + 25- + 30 ° C. Every day you need to ventilate the greenhouse, remove condensate.
The easiest way, however, rooting can take six months. In June, you need to cut semi-lignified cuttings.
Pour a drainage layer and coniferous soil into the planting pot. It is in the needles that the cuttings will take root. The plant is in the ground for 3 years, and then it can be transplanted into the soil for azaleas.
Step by step guide:
Why root in coniferous soil? It is the needles that can give the plant all the necessary substances. You can consider the option of rooting in peat or river sand, but the survival rate is significantly reduced.
A sure way to get new copies. The division is carried out in the spring. To do this, you need to water the mother bush well, remove it from the pot, examine the roots and divide it into divisions (there should be 1-2 shoots on each part).
Indoor rhododendron is known to flower growers under a different name - azalea.
And many growers, I think, have already managed in practice to appreciate the rather obstinate nature of this flower when grown indoors.
I was no exception: I once bought a luxurious huge bush of room azalea, tried to create a comfortable environment for him at home, but, alas, the plant quickly died.
Therefore, if you want to have a capricious beauty azalea on the windowsill, you should clearly assess your capabilities, time, the presence of the necessary conditions so that the plant does not live for only a week, but pleases you further with flowering.
Indoor rhododendron usually grows in the form of a small bush with rounded glossy dense leaves and blooming in large flowers of a wide variety of colors. Azalea flowers range in color from pure white to bright red.
Azalea blooms mainly in February-March, sometimes May. The plant should bloom annually, which is achieved with suitable azalea care.
In structure and shape, azalea flowers can be:
Such a variety of shapes, colors, textures of petals will always allow you to find the flower that would satisfy the taste of any grower.
It is the rich bloom that attracts people when they see an azalea in a flower shop. And, looking at this flower, admiring its splendor, people buy an azalea for themselves or as a luxurious gift, not knowing that they have brought a very capricious and whimsical plant to the house.
In nature, this plant lives in fairly cool conditions. It is this fact that greatly affects the impossibility of its normal growth in room conditions. Many of us do not have a place at home where it would be cool enough to please azaleas.
In addition, azalea soil is not suitable for any, but with high acidity, which is not so common among indoor plants. Therefore, in the store, purchase a specialized soil for growing azaleas with an acidity of pH from 4 to 4.5. It is necessary to make it loose, containing a coniferous component, sand and peat.
Every two to three weeks the plant needs mineral fertilizing, and at the time of bud formation and at the beginning of flowering, it is recommended to fertilize the azalea with a superphosphate solution.
In the summer it becomes even more difficult to do this, azaleas need frequent spraying, but at the same time it is necessary not to fall from the spray bottle on the flowers of the plant themselves, as this spoils the appearance.
Watering is also not so simple. It is necessary to increase them in case of an increase in ambient temperature, to ensure that the soil is always moist.
It is better to place the pot with the plant on a substrate of small pebbles poured into a pallet. There must always be water in the pan so that the plant receives enough moisture from its evaporation.
If the above difficulties have not yet discouraged you from starting an azalea at home, you should know that the capricious nature of the plant is also manifested in its instability to diseases and pests of indoor plants.
Quite often, spots on the leaves of an azalea can be seen, the appearance of which indicates a fungal disease.
If you managed to find an approach to the azalea, and you want to get new plants from the mother, then you can try to propagate the plant with cuttings.
Although here, the azalea shows its complex nature: the rooting of its cuttings is a difficult process, most often ending in failure.