Azalea (lat. Azalea) is the collective name of some flowering plant species from the genus Rhododendron. The birthplace of azalea (rhododendron) is Japan, India, China.
As indoor plants, varieties based on the species Rhododendron simsii - Rhododendron Sims, or Azalea Sims, or Indian azalea - have been bred. Less common varieties based on the species Rhododendron obtusum - Rhododendron blunt, or Japanese azalea. Both species are shrubs 30-50 cm tall. The plant is valuable because in the midst of winter cold it fills the apartment with the mood of summer.
Indoor azalea - popular varieties:
'Advents-glocken' - blooms in the first months of winter. A low-growing shrub with bell-shaped double crimson flowers that reach up to 7-8 cm in diameter.
‘Albert Elizabeth’ (‘Albert Elisabeth’) is a tall bush, blooms from December to April with large white, sometimes pale pink double flowers, their diameter reaches 11 cm.The leaves are large, light green in color.
'Concinna' ('Concinna') is a spreading bush with smooth, large flowers, funnel-shaped, light lilac in color with crimson dots. Medium-sized silvery leaves.
You can buy indoor azalea in our store. Indoor rhododendron
Indoor azaleas require careful care and the conditions under which their relatives bloom in the wild. Despite its capriciousness and exactingness, azalea is very popular among gardeners.
In order for it to please with beautiful flowers all year round, you need to familiarize yourself with the content rules. Having studied the natural habitat of the azalea and the peculiarities of its life in natural conditions, you will be able to provide the flower with all the necessary ingredients.
This plant loves coolness, so the best place to place an azalea would be a glazed balcony, covered terrace, greenhouse, or a cool corridor in your home or office.
Lighting. A place with bright diffused sunlight is suitable for the lovely inhabitant of your home. Do not expose it to direct light. In summer, it is recommended to take the plant out into the open air with a little shade.
Temperature. In the spring and summer, the acceptable temperature is 18-22 ° C. Azalea doesn't like heat. Therefore, in the summer it is better to keep it outside in a ventilated place on the balcony, or dig it in the shade of the garden trees along with the pot. Moreover, summer rain is useful for azaleas.
In autumn, when the period of flower bud development begins, the temperature should be gradually reduced. In winter, it is very desirable to lower the temperature even further - to 12-15 ° C.
Air humidity. This houseplant needs high humidity. In the spring, and especially in summer, the azalea should be sprayed daily, on especially hot days - 2 times a day. Timely spraying can solve the problem of too high an air temperature. Do not spray the flowers to avoid staining them.
It is advisable to install a humidifier in the room with the azalea; cool water will slightly lower the temperature in the room by 2-3 ° C.
Watering. Azalea does not tolerate lime and chlorine, so it is important to water it only with well-settled water. Watering is needed abundant and frequent, since the soil in which the azalea grows dries quickly.
Azalea loves slightly sour water, so it is advisable to add 2-3 drops of lemon juice (grains of citric acid) or apple cider vinegar to the water.
In winter, watering is slightly reduced.
Top dressing. In spring and summer, the plant is fed with a special fertilizer for azaleas, which does not contain chlorine. The frequency of feeding is once every 2-3 weeks. In autumn, when the budding period begins, you can feed the azaleas with a superphosphate solution a couple of times - 15 g of fertilizer per 10 liters of water.
Transfer. Plants are transplanted in the spring, after flowering, into a special substrate for azaleas (acidic soil). Remove all peduncles and dry shoots and branches during transplantation.
The capacity is a wide low pot or bowl, since the root system of an azalea is superficial. Young plants are transplanted annually, adults - every 2-3 years. Since the roots of azaleas are tender, be careful not to damage them. Make sure that the thin roots do not come off; for this, do not remove the earthen lump from the roots.
Do not immerse the azalea root collar too deep in the soil.
Trimming and shaping. It is important not to miss the time of pruning the azalea, otherwise it will not have time to form new buds. Only the plant will bloom and begin to form new shoots (about a month after flowering), you need to remove all weak shoots, and cut off new ones, leaving 4-5 leaves on each.
It is better to form an azalea with a bush, so it looks more natural, although there are fans of standard forms.
IMPORTANT: Pruning with gloves, azalea leaves are poisonous.
Blooming indoor azaleas. Azalea is valuable because it blooms from December to June. The flowering period is approximately one and a half months.
The early varieties bloom from December to February, the middle ones from February to April, the late ones from April to June. Thus, having three varieties, you can admire the flowers from winter to summer.
In the process of flowering, you need to remove wilted flowers, then the plant will not weaken and will bloom for a longer time. The temperature also affects the duration of flowering - in a cooler place, the azalea blooms longer.
Reproduction. Indoor azalea is propagated by semi-freshened cuttings.
Semi-freshened shoots 5-7 cm long with 3-4 leaves are cut from a plant that is 1 year old. An oblique cut is made under the lower leaf with a bud, the 2 lower leaves are cut in half and dipped in a solution of root or heteroauxin for 6 hours.
The processed stalk is planted in coniferous soil (layer 8-10 cm), under which there must be a layer of coarse sand of 3 cm and at the bottom - drainage from expanded clay (pieces of broken brick, clay shards).
Cuttings are stuck to a depth of 1.5-2 cm. Cover with a transparent plastic bag to maintain air humidity and sprayed 2 times a day.
After about a week or so, the second film can be removed, but continue to spray the cuttings.
Rooting takes place within 1-1.5 months at a temperature of 20-24 ° C.
Rooted cuttings are planted in small pots with good drainage. The substrate is peat with coniferous soil in half. Plants are pinched to form a bush.
Diseases and pests. With too dry and warm air and insufficient watering, pests can settle: azalea aphid, spider mite, scale insect. To avoid this, keep the plant away from batteries, peel and spray the leaves. You can help azaleas by treating the leaves with special insecticides, after which it is imperative to wash the leaves with clean water two hours later.
Collapsing and wrinkling of leaves occurs with insufficient watering, high temperature and dry air. In this case, place the flower pot on a tray filled with pebbles or wet peat.
Weak flowering or yellowed leaves indicate improperly selected soil or watering with too hard water.
Plants in winter. It is difficult for azaleas to survive in overheated rooms and dry air. In winter, it is better to keep the azalea in a cool room with a temperature of 12-15 ° C. During this time, spray the flower with soft water, paying particular attention to the underside of the leaves.
Interesting Facts. This exotic bush covered with charming flowers was discovered by scientists more than three hundred years ago. But only in the 19th century, thanks to the efforts of scientists - botanists, various varieties of this plant were bred, which now delight us with their extraordinary beauty.
In addition to its original appearance, azalea has a number of beneficial qualities: it improves vision, heals barley, and repels moths and other small insects.
With proper care and attention, you will be happy to admire the wonderful buds of its delicate flowers at almost any time of the year: on warm spring days and in winter - against the background of a window painted with frost.
PHOTO OF AZALIA