In this article called Azalea plant: care and characteristics aims, in addition to informing, to bring the reader closer to the world of plants with simple language.
Spring is the best time for flowering and future sowing of azaleas, but to have them at home it is convenient to learn more about them, their most basic needs and care, as well as some more specific ones. Therefore, we are going to get to know them a little more closely, in case we decide on them to give life to our garden or home.
Main characteristics of azaleas
Belonging to the Ericaceae family, known for their abundant flowering, the azaleas, with the botanical name Rhododendron indicum or simsii , are a small shrub of oriental origin that, due to its more multiple hybridizations throughout history, has managed to adapt without difficulty in all types of climates.
Hybridizations have also resulted in specimens with greater flowering, these reaching almost completely cover the leaves due to their abundance, and with a fairly wide range of color in light and warm tones. For this reason, it is mainly used as an ornamental plant for both exteriors and interiors.
Azaleas have a flowering period that occupies the months of January to March, sometimes reaching well into spring, so it is recommended that, if you buy a specimen, it is planted between spring and autumn to ensure the best results.
In addition, there are different varieties of azaleas , which generally require the same care but offer us different colors and slight changes in shapes.
Types of azaleas
- Pink Azalea ( Rhododendron Blaauw’s Pink or Kurume )
- Azalea japonica cristina ( Rhododendron Christina Girard )
- Azalea karen ( Rhododendron Karen )
- White Azalea ( Rhododendron Pleasant White )
- Mountain azalea ( R hododendron ferrugineum )
Azalea Plant Care – Practical Guide
Next, we are going to give some basic guidelines on how to care for azaleas . The most important thing for them is that we know how to control the temperature and the exact dose of water they need according to the time of year.
Location, light and temperature
Azaleas generally prefer cool environments , but not devoid of natural light . In this way, in the case of having them inside our houses, we must make sure that they are in a ventilated area and away from heating. If, on the contrary, they are part of the garden, they should be placed in a safe area and out of reach of strong currents.
Sudden changes in temperature are not beneficial either, so it is better to condition the area than to change it regularly. In this way, the good condition of the plant is ensured and we avoid a premature fall of flowers and leaves.
Moisture and irrigation
To all that has been said above, it is added its need for the environment to have a moderate humidity percentage. It is highly recommended that in summer the irrigation dose be increased and that this be done more frequently. In their flowering season they only need to be watered every three days. It is advisable to water in abundance, but without the water being stagnant in the bottom or the plate of the pot. The roots could rot easily if irrigation is abused.
Sometimes the water we have can cause the intense green leaves to turn yellow, so it is advisable to start watering them with previously filtered water . Rainwater is the most beneficial for them.
It must be avoided that the water used during irrigation touches its leaves and flowers, so it is always watered from the root . In case of having them in a pot, it is very useful to use a saucer with water and leave them submerged for a maximum of 15 minutes or, simply, remove the excess water after this approximate period of time.
Azalea plant: planting and reproduction
For their planting, the important points mentioned above should not be forgotten: they need a cool, humid area with natural light as long as it does not affect them directly. The best time to plant azaleas is spring , although early fall could also be a very good option.
The roots of the azaleas are superficial so they must be provided with good drainage . In gardens they should be provided with a raised bed so that water does not accumulate, while indoors it is preferable to use clay pots.
Although they adapt easily, they thrive best in slightly acidic soils and must be fertilized throughout the period suitable for planting, that is, from mid-March to early October.
It is very important to respect the space in case of planting outdoors, at least there must be a minimum distance of one and a half meters between each azalea bush. If planted in a pot, it is favorable that the roots are compacted to favor future flowering. In no case should the roots be completely covered with soil or compost.
They reproduce mainly by cuttings of almost woody shoots and of a length around 15 centimeters , which are planted at a depth of approximately 2 centimeters. In addition, it is highly recommended to use peat and perlite, slightly compacted, to favor its development.
We hope that this article helps you to give life to your home or garden with these wonderful plants, the azaleas.