A potted azalea is a popular winter-flowering houseplant, whether you give it as a hostess gift at Christmas or to yourself to combat the winter “blahs.” When there is snow on the ground and trees are bare, nothing beats the shocking color of a flowering azalea. If you have one of these popular florist azaleas, usually an Indica hybrid, you should have moved it indoors by now, into a brightly lit area near a window and out of direct sun. (These azaleas will grow outdoors in the ground in the Southern states.)
An Indica azalea needs a good amount of humidity. You can accomplish this indoors by either misting it daily or by setting the pot on a tray of pebbles, which you keep filled with water. The pot must not set in the water, but be suspended above it by the pebbles. This way, the water evaporates and automatically mists the shrub. Once the flower buds appear and start to open, cut out the misting and/or take away the pebble tray.
Grow Indica azaleas cool while they are blooming. Temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit can cause leaf and/or bud drop. Too, the flowers will not last long in a hot room. If you have a window that leaks cold air and does not receive direct sun, this could be the ideal spot for your blooming azalea!
Once the azalea has finished blooming, you can repot it into an acidic potting mix if it has outgrown its container. Add some bark to the mix if it isn’t free draining. Stay away from mixes that contain a lot of peat since peat will hold water. Keep the shrub’s roots just damp through the winter. Feed them once a month throughout the winter with a liquid fertilizer. This is a critical time as azaleas set next year’s flower buds very quickly after they finish blooming. It’s important for next year’s flowers that they receive good care at this time. Immediately after flowering is also the only safe time to do any branch pruning. Later cuts will most likely remove next year’s blossoms.
Come spring, once the threat of frost has left your area, move your potted azalea outdoors into a shady spot. Make sure it is watered and misted if rains and humidity are not present. Bring it back indoors in autumn, before the first frost, to begin the blooming season all over again.
This year GardenSMART embarks on one of our most exciting adventures ever and we'd love to have you join us! We are partnering with Alki Tours and spending 10 days visiting some of the most amazing sites in Holland and Belgium. Many of these gardens are my favorite horticultural destinations in the world. If you are a plant lover, this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Jump into Spring with savings up to $2200 on this Exclusive Cruise of the Rivers of Holland & Belgium with Eric Johnson Host of GardenSMART from PBS
Sail right into the pages of a storybook on our European garden tour through Holland and Belgium.
MAY 6-16, 2018
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Watch filming and be part of the fun, telling your favorite...and not so favorite Dirty Tales.
2 Nights Amsterdam & 7 Nights River. Visit Amsterdam, Holland, Belgium, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Bruges, Keukenhof Gardens, Rotterdam and More!
This Exclusive, Five-Star, Cruise & Garden Tours Vacation Includes:
2 nights in Amsterdam including gorgeous hotel, wonderful tours and daily breakfast
7 nights on the new, flagship Amadeus Silver III river cruise ship
Incredible excursions in Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Utrecht
All of your meals on board the ship, including wine with dinner