Azaleas can become an amazing, colorful and drought hardy addition to any garden, patio or balcony. They are bright and a sure sign that spring has arrived.
Azalea comes from India, Japan and China and is easy to grow, making a colorful complement to any landscape. Although it is considered an indoor plant, there are many species that grow as outdoor plants. There are two types of azaleas.
Evergreen azaleas (keep their leaves all year-round) are mostly natives of Japan, that’s why they are called Japanese azaleas, are smaller and slower growing reaching up to 90cm after ten years. Evergreen azaleas are suitable for container growing, due to their size or smaller gardens. Their small lance-shaped leaves often color up in autumn.
Deciduous azaleas (varieties that drop their leaves in the fall) are taller and reach up to 1.5 meters after ten years. They lose their leaves in the autumn after coloring up. Their flowers are often scented, but flower size varies, although many flower later extending the season. Deciduous azaleas are extremely hardy.
Azalea gives us rich, sometimes aromatic, trumpet-shaped flowers, which depending on the variety can have a diameter of 2 to 10 cm. They come in many flower colors, including pink, red, white, yellow, and purple. Though most plants flower in the spring, there are also summer-blooming varieties that add color and charm to the garden. Azaleas bloom at the end of winter or early spring and are kept in bloom until the summer. Spring is the best time to buy or give an azalea plant. Then it is full of color and buds.
If you follow these simple care tips your azalea will be kept for a long time in your pot or garden.
Azaleas prefer a little sun and a little shade. A good location is where they receive either dappled sun all day or sun in the morning and light shade in the afternoon. Good places might include spots under trees, or along the north side of your house. Azaleas prefer plenty of morning light. Avoid areas with afternoon sunshine and do not place it in a place with direct sunlight.
Spring and fall, when temperatures are cool, are the perfect season for your plant. But if you buy in spring when the azaleas are blooming, you'll be assured of getting the colors you want. Summer planting is okay, but you'll have to water more frequently during hot weather.
The ideal temperature for this plant ranges between 10 to 13 ° C, while during its flowering the temperature can reach up to 15 ° C. Some varieties are not as tolerant to extreme cold.
Azaleas need acidic soil. Adding peat, melted leaves and peels to the surface of the soil can help them create the ideal environment for them. If you plant it in a garden with heavy clayey soil, do not plant it deep and make sure to add a little light soil near the roots. Lay down a layer of mulch to help your new plant retain moisture and stay free of weeds, or since your azalea loves acidic soil, mulch with a thick layer of pine needles. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the base of the azalea.
Azaleas prefer cool places but you should choose soil with good drainage. To keep the moisture cover the top of the soil with leaves.
Azalea prefers soft water. In droughts, it is good to chase the soil just before watering to make sure the water reaches deep roots.
Check the soil around your azalea by hand, and water when it's dry to the touch. Water deeply and thoroughly, so each plant gets water equal to about 2.5cm/1” per week in summer. Water slowly, so the water gets absorbed into the root area instead of running off. Avoid over-watering azaleas, soggy soil promotes root disease. When possible, use drip irrigation or water the soil around the plant rather than watering its leaves. Water left on plant leaves often encourages fungal diseases. Water early in the day, so the sun can dry leaves when they do get wet.
If your azalea needs reinforcement and treatment, the best time to fertilize it is after the end of spring blooming. Look for azaleas fertilizer.
Azaleas don't need pruning but if you like to shape them they should be pruned after flowering. You should often clean the azalea, remove the dried flowers and leaves and also pruning should be done early in the spring.
Do not worry if your plant in autumn will lose some of its leaves. Some azaleas are deciduous, and evergreen plants reject some of their leaves in autumn. If this happens another time of year, it can mean that your plant suffers from excessive heat or lack of water. To treat it regularly, sprinkle the plant with water free of calcium and move the pot to a cooler spot.
The biggest and most common problems that azaleas seem to battle are insects such as mites and azalea lacewing. They are easily spotted when the foliage turns from bright green to a mottled, silver patterning on the leaves. If left uncontrolled for several years they can certainly weaken the plant and prevent them from producing enough chlorophyll to naturally sustain their health and growth. Check often for them on the new growth and on the undersides of the leaves. If insects are present, spray with a household plant insecticide or fungicide. Since your azaleas are planted correctly you should not have any fungus or disease problems.
These spectacular plants are easy to grow once you understand their basics needs. By choosing the right azaleas for your home and caring for them properly, you can grow gorgeous azaleas of your very own. Azaleas are lovely flowering plants that make a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, for a co-worker, anniversaries or any special occasion. At ww.anthemionflowers.gr find the ideal plant for your loved ones and we will send it directly and safely to their house or office.