Azalea (Azalea) belongs to the family of heather genus rhododendrons, numbering more than a thousand species of shrubs in the wild scattered almost all over the world.
These small, flowering plants with beautiful foliage and magnificent flowers attracted the attention of breeders more than 150 years ago. And today about 12 thousand different varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons suitable for gardening and home breeding have been bred.
An amazing property of azalea is its winter flowering, so the bushes ready to bloom break records among flower sales in late autumn and early winter.
Azalea content at home.
Caring for azalea at home requires special knowledge and care, since this rather capricious plant, with the wrong attitude, easily “curbs” its flowering and strives to die.
That is why many attribute this beauty to typical greenhouse plants, although with good supervision it may well exist and bloom in an ordinary apartment.
Briefly dwell on the main points, of which, in fact, is the care of azalea at home.
Temperature condition . Azalea does not tolerate heat and dry air. The optimum temperature during flowering is 10-15 degrees. Temperature in excess of 18 degrees is unacceptable. It is recommended to keep the flower away from heating appliances.
Lighting He loves bright diffused light, but does not tolerate direct sunlight.
Watering. In order for the azalea to bloom for a long time, the entire earthen lump must be constantly not only moistened, but also strongly and evenly moistened. For watering you need soft water.
It is very useful to place the pot in water once a week to completely saturate the earth with moisture. Duration in water - no more than three hours.
If the earth dries, the plant will die forever.
Air humidity. Azalea needs daily spraying from a fine spray. During flowering, you need to be careful that water does not fall on the flowers, as this can cause the appearance of dark spots.
The soil. For azaleas, a light water and breathable substrate consisting of coniferous land and peat is suitable. The easiest way to purchase a special soil mixture for azaleas in a specialized store.
The plant has a superficial root system, so it needs a low and wide pot.
Transplant Adult plants are transplanted every two years, while making sure that the root neck of the plant is not buried. When transplanting, you need to maintain the integrity of the earthen coma, so as not to damage the roots.
Young growing plants are transplanted every year after flowering.
Care for azalea at home after flowering . After the plant fades, it is cut off, freeing from withered inflorescences, elongated branches and extra shoots, and transferred to a cool place. In summer, the flower is watered, sprayed, protected from pests and diseases, protected from drafts and direct sunlight. All these measures will benefit azaleas at home, and in September-October the plant will release new buds, preparing for bright winter flowering.
The most common types of indoor azaleas.
Almost all azaleas grown indoors are two types of dwarf shrubs: Sims rhododendron or Indian azalea (Rhododendron simsii or Rhododendron indicum) and Japanese azalea (Rhododendron obtusum).
The height of the bushes does not exceed 50 cm. Flowers of various colors - from white to purple through a red-coral gamut of shades. The shape of the flowers is non-double or double with corrugated petals. Indian azalea flowers are larger.
There are pyramidal and ampelous forms of azaleas.
In conclusion, we can say that care for azalea at home is simple, but requires constant attention to the condition of the plant. Therefore, its abundant and prolonged winter flowering is to some extent a confirmation of the qualification of the florist and, accordingly, a subject of well-deserved pride.