Caring for Azaleas
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR VARIETIES OF AZALEAS:
Outdoors you may have beautiful bushes that bloom annually but “Florist” Azaleas bloom for months if properly cared for indoors in pots.
THE BEST LOCATION TO MAKE SURE THEY FLOWER:
Place in the coolest room of house, (50-60 degrees), that receives at least 6 hours of indirect light for longest display of flowers
· Blooming period can last between 6-8 weeks
Tip: Florist azaleas can bloom indoors for 6–8 weeks depending on the number of buds
Tip: Azalea blooms won’t last in warm, dry indoor temperatures over 70 degrees
· Remove paper wrapper and water deeply, paying attention to weight of well-watered plant.
· Keep soil consistently moist but not saturated and avoid letting the soil dry out or leaves will turn brown, wilt, and may fall off
· When the pot starts to feel light, give it a thorough watering by immersing in a bucket of water until air bubbles stop coming out of soil
· Let drain
· Set pot on a bed of gravel filled with water to increase ambient humidity
Tip: Florist azaleas should be kept consistently moist but not saturated with water
Tip: Immerse azaleas in a bucket of water until bubbles stop
· Start fertilizing with an acid fertilizer that is made specifically for acid loving plants like azaleas, camellias, and gardenias AFTER the plant is done blooming.
· Fertilize every 2 weeks in between bloom periods
Tip: EB Stone Azalea, Camellia and Gardenia Food
Tip: Fertilize azaleas after plants have finished blooming
CAN THESE BE PLANTED OUTDOORS IN THE SPRING?
· Florist azaleas fair best as container plants that are brought outdoors in the spring after frost
· Repot to larger container filled with acidic soil in spring when roots start to encircle the root ball
· Place in shady patio and bring back indoors when temperatures drop under 40 degrees in fall
Tip: Florist azaleas are best kept as year-round container plants in cold climate areas
Tip: In mild winter areas, florist azaleas can be planted in shady area in the spring
Tip: For acidic soil, add 1-2in. of sphagnum peat to topsoil or 2T of vinegar/ gallon of water when planting
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