Azalea is one of the most beautiful indoor plants because it blooms very abundantly. However, flower growers often complain that after a short time after acquiring such a flower, it dies. The fact is that azalea is a rather capricious plant. In order to prevent the flower from drying out and discarding its foliage, it is necessary to try to create the most suitable conditions for growing such a crop. Only if you provide azaleas with proper care, it will bloom very effectively and magnificently.
Features of azalea
Azalea is a dwarf flowering plant that is branched and evergreen. It comes from China and Japan, but in nature this plant can be found in North America and in southern Europe. This indoor flower belongs to the genus of rhododendrons. From the Greek language "rhodon" is translated as "rose", and "dendron" - "tree". Therefore, rhododendron can be translated as "rosewood". In translation from the ancient Greek language "azalea" means "dry". The name of this plant is associated with its appearance, it is a small dry shrub.
Azalea appeared on the territory of Russia only at the beginning of the twentieth century, and at first it was grown only in greenhouses or botanical gardens. In natural conditions, there are about 350 species of this plant. However, only two of them are grown at home, and Indian azalea is the most popular. This species is an evergreen shrub, the height of which does not exceed half a meter. Short petiolate small leaf plates of a dark green color, their length is not more than 35 millimeters. There are pale red hairs on the surface of the leaves. Flowering is observed in winter, with flowers reaching 30-50 millimeters across. Japanese azalea is also an evergreen shrub, its height can vary from 0.3 to 0.5 meters. Its glossy leaf plates are very small. This species differs from the previous species in the size of the flowers, they are much smaller. This species can be grown in the garden.
The bloom of a room azalea is distinguished by its splendor. She begins to bloom at the age of 3 or 4 years. Most often, her flowers are painted in a deep pink color, but they can be bright red, lilac, snow-white, purple, and there are also two-color ones. In flowers, petals are weakly double, double and even. Dark green leaf plates are relatively small.
If you are buying a lush blooming azalea bush, then in this case it is recommended to choose one that has many unopened buds. The fact is that such a flower adapts to new conditions much faster, and its flowering will be long, lush and spectacular. Another purchased copy must be thoroughly examined, while trying to identify signs of disease or the presence of pests, if any. Tilt the bush slightly, if you see dried leaves, this may mean that the flower is sick or has been improperly looked after.
Azalea care at home
If the azalea grown at home is properly cared for, it will bloom very abundantly, beautifully and for a long time.
After the flower is purchased, he needs to find the most suitable place in the house. This plant is photophilous, but it needs protection from the scorching direct rays of the sun. In this regard, for its cultivation, you should choose an east-facing window sill; a window located on the north or west side is also suitable. It is also important to consider that the lighting must be necessarily diffused, but the azalea feels quite well in partial shade. In October and November, when the plant is forming buds, it will need a lot of light. Good lighting can be provided by illuminating the flower with fluorescent lamps.
The correct temperature regime is also very important when growing crops such as azalea. This home-grown flower is not a thermophilic one. The optimum temperature for growing it is from 15 to 18 degrees. During the formation of buds, he will need a lower temperature - 10-12 degrees. If the correct temperature regime is maintained when growing azaleas, then the flowering will be lush, spectacular and long-lasting. In the summertime, it is especially difficult to maintain the required temperature. Experienced flower growers recommend moving it to the balcony at this time, but it should not be located on the south side. If the room has an air conditioner, then you need to try to make sure that the air temperature in it is no more than 20 degrees.
Such a plant needs to provide increased air humidity. Therefore, it is necessary to spray it relatively often from a sprayer, and for this they use cool water. During the flowering period, spraying the bush should be done with great care, because if moisture gets on the surface of delicate flowers, they can begin to darken. Also, to increase the humidity around the plant, it is recommended to put several open containers filled with water. In the summertime, if desired, the azalea can be transferred to fresh air, for example, place it in the garden. In winter, when the heating season begins, maximum attention must be paid to the level of air humidity.
How to water
Proper watering is also very important when growing indoor azaleas. It has a strong effect on both the growth and vegetation of such a shrub. It is distinguished by a special demand for watering, and in order to avoid the death of the bush, you must clearly follow the following rules:
- it is necessary to water the plant systematically, while watering should be very abundant during the flowering period;
- in no case should the earthen lump in the pot dry out, if this happened, then the plant, along with the pot, must be immersed in a container filled with slightly lukewarm water for 2 hours, during which time the required amount of moisture will be absorbed into the soil;
- the substrate should be slightly damp all the time;
- excessive wetting of the substrate must also be excluded;
- it is imperative to pour out the drained water from the pallet, otherwise rhizome decay may occur;
- if tap water is used for irrigation, then it is necessary that it settle for at least 2 days, during which time the chlorine evaporates and cannot harm the shrub;
- it is best to water the azalea with melt water, which should be cool;
- to make the flowering more abundant, the bush needs to be watered once every 2 weeks (not more often) with a mixture consisting of settled water and 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice.
For growing room azaleas, experts recommend using acidic soil, while its pH should be in the range of 4-4.5. If desired, you can purchase a soil mixture in a specialty store, which is ideal for growing such a plant. Also, the soil mixture can be easily made at home with your own hands, for this you need to combine moss, rotted needles and sand, which are taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 1.
Pinching and trimming
In order to form a beautiful and very lush bush, as well as for a more abundant flowering, the plant must be provided with proper care. And for this, you need to prune and pinch the regrown shoots in time. When the shrub has faded, it will be necessary to cut off all single flowers that have already wilted. In May, you should begin to regularly prune the young, recently grown stems, and you also need to pinch them very carefully. If you trim and pinch correctly, as well as in a timely manner, it will be possible to ensure that the buds form at the tips of the stems. To trim the azalea, experts advise, with a specially designed pruning shears. It is not necessary to prune all branches of the shrub without exception. Only those of them that are excessively stretched can be tucked in the trim. Most often, the appearance of young leaf plates is noted after about half a month after the pruning.
Fertilizers and growth stimulants
It is necessary to feed the azalea grown in room conditions with mineral fertilizers. It is very important to take into account that the fertilizer used should not contain chlorine. The fact is that he is able to destroy such an indoor flower. To avoid unnecessary difficulties and problems, experienced florists recommend buying a fertilizer called "Azalea" in a specialized store. In the spring and summer period, feeding should be quite frequent, so, they should be arranged 1 time in seven days, while the flower should not be fed more often. With the onset of winter, the amount of fertilizing is sharply reduced, at this time it is necessary to apply fertilizers only once a month. After the budding and flowering period begins, to feed the room azalea, you will need to use such a fertilizer, which contains the required amount of substances such as phosphorus and potassium. For example, at this time, you can use Kemiru-lux or Uniflor-bud for feeding.
Experienced growers recommend transplanting this shrub immediately after it fades for the first time. Transplanting should be done very carefully and for this you need to use the transshipment method, while it is imperative to preserve the integrity of the earthen coma. The fact is that the roots of a room azalea are extremely thin and fragile, and therefore during transplantation they can be very easily injured, which is extremely undesirable. The plant should be transplanted into a not very deep flower pot, in this case the roots will be relatively close to the surface of the substrate. Experts recommend that young specimens should be transplanted annually, and older ones - once every 3 years. In transplanted plants, it is imperative to remove dried flowers, stems and branches.
Azalea propagates by stem cuttings. It is advisable to do this in the summer. To do this, semi-lignified cuttings with existing buds are planted in the ground, preferably covered with a glass jar, a plastic bag. Watering and spraying is abundant and regular. If flower buds appear, they are immediately removed. After a couple of months, when the rooting of the cuttings occurs, they must be planted in a pot. Elongated shoots are pinched on rooted cuttings to form a crown.
Reproduction of azaleas are effective ways. How to propagate Azalea correctly.
Diseases and pests of azaleas
Diseases appear due to improper care:
- insufficient watering of the plant,
- exposure to the sun,
- increase in room temperature,
- where is this flower,
- lack of light
- wrong soil.
- If the leaves are withered, yellow, and fall off, then the cause is a lack of watering of the plant or exposure to the sun. If you start to follow the rules of watering, spraying and lighting, then the problem will disappear.
- If rust or gray rot appears, then it is necessary to create a temperature comfortable for the flower to exist and cut off the spoiled leaves.
- If her flowers only turn yellow, begin to wither and fall off, it means that watering is taking place with poor-quality water. This can be corrected by watering with boiled water with specialized fertilizers.
- Due to an excess of moisture in the soil, azalea is most often affected by late blight, which leads to the death of the indoor plant.
Spider mites, scale insects, strawberry mites are pests that can ruin indoor azaleas. To fight, it is necessary to process the home flower with special means. First you need to do the treatment of the foliage with soapy water, then rinse with warm water and then you need to spray with the purchased product (for example, actellik solution)
AZALIA ROOM. GROWING, CARE AND DISEASES
If possible, transplant the azalea immediately after purchase.
In flower shops, plants are sold in shipping pots with scanty soil. There is no way to be sure that the plant has received proper care and has a healthy root system. Ideally, the first transplant of not only azaleas, but also another flower, is best done immediately after purchase.
However, if the azalea is in bloom or in its budding period, transplanting can lead to dropping of the inflorescences. In this case, the transplant can be postponed until it fades. Of course, when the condition of the soil is not suspicious. If the soil in the pot is too flooded, there are traces of salinity and mold, it is better to transplant the azalea into fresh soil. Before that, most of the blossoming buds should be removed.
Healthy azaleas that are grown at home are then transplanted regularly. Young - every year, adults - every 2-3 years. When transplanting, it must be borne in mind that a special microflora is formed around the root system of the azalea. Its violation can lead to the death of the flower. Azaleas are not transplanted in winter and during flowering. The best time to change soil is spring.
How to care
In itself, full care begins immediately after it is placed in a new habitat. You need to understand that azalea is not only capricious, but at the same time a persistent plant. If it is properly planted in a pot and the necessary climatic conditions are created, in the reviews, gardeners talk about half the case.
Key lighting requirements
As already mentioned, the home flower azalea loves bright, but not direct sunlight... For this reason, she needs to find just such a place. If there is dry and warm weather outside - at this time it can be taken out onto the balcony, but at the same time provide a small shade so that it does not dry out.
Homemade azaleas are very demanding on a stable temperature regime, so heat and stuffiness are considered to be its main enemies.
After the buds begin to bloom, the temperature should be raised to 17 degrees Celsius. In the case when, at the beginning of flowering, the temperature for some reason, on the contrary, decreases, in the reviews, amateurs say that the azalea will be able to bloom a little longer.
Key rules for high-quality safe watering
Surely everyone who has this flower does not want to care for a sick azalea. For this reason, it is necessary to regularly inspect the soil for the presence of the necessary moisture in the pot.
However, do not forget that it is not recommended to pour over too. For this reason, all the water that has reached the sump must be drained.
When keeping azaleas in a pot, it is recommended to water the plant every 2 days.
The water itself deserves special attention. Before watering a flower with it, it is necessary to let it stand for at least 2 days, and also be sure to boil it.
During the flowering period, it is allowed to water the azalea with tap water without preliminary boiling and settling.
Selection of the necessary soil
Azalea is a plant that loves acidic soil. It is simply impossible to create such a substrate at home, so it is better to contact a flower shop and buy.This is considered the best option to minimize the risks of various bacteria entering the ground.
Is fertilization necessary?
Azalea it is recommended to feed with mineral fertilizers and only profile... It is highly undesirable to use a prepared solution with your own hands, since this will have an extremely negative effect on flowering: possible yellowing, damage to the roots.
This plant can reproduce in such ways as:
- or by dividing the bush and grafting.
If we talk about propagation by cuttings, then it is very popular at home. Reproduction is carried out by half-woody stem cuttings. This is due to the fact that a fresh green stalk is prone to rapid disappearance, while a woody one, despite a long period of growth, still takes root.
You can start cutting the cuttings from the middle of winter, but to achieve the best effect, it is still recommended to carry out these manipulations in the spring, preferably in March.
To achieve fast and high-quality rooting, it is best to use substrates such as: sphagnum peat or coniferous soil. It should be remembered that only cut cuttings must be treated with special rooting stimulants (they can be purchased at any flower shop). When planting, they are deepened into the ground to a depth of 1-2.5 centimeters. After planting, it is imperative to cover the stalk with a glass jar or plastic wrap. Do not forget about regular watering and spraying.
If we talked about reproduction by the method of dividing the bush, then there is a small nuance: this method can be resorted to if the plant is at least 3-4 years old. Due to the fact that the root system of the azalea is very thin, it must be divided with extreme care so as not to harm it and not kill the plant.
Azalea home care after purchase
To provide the plant with optimal care, after purchase, it is recommended to water it with a solution of Zircon. 4 drops of the drug are dissolved in 1 liter of water.
Shrub maintenance requires proper watering. The flower does not tolerate both flooded and dried soil. When installing a pot with a flower, take into account its proximity to heating radiators. Their close location will adversely affect the condition of the soil.
It is recommended to water the dried plant with copious amounts of water and wrap the shrub with a plastic bag. After a few hours, the plant will return to its previous shape.
In the case of acquiring an already drying plant, you can pull the bush together with the soil from the pot and lower it into a container with boiled, but not hot water for 20 minutes, then return it to the pot again.
Azalea flower how to care at home
For proper plant care, you need to know the characteristic problems of indoor rhododendrons and how to solve them:
- azalea does not tolerate frequent watering
- it is not allowed to wrap the plant with ice or snow, such manipulation seriously violates the temperature regime of the flower
- a flooded plant can lose leaves when overflowing; the azalea leaf turns brown at the very tip
- for irrigation, it is recommended to use water with soft properties, for this it is defended for 2-3 days or passed through a filter
- summer spraying is done twice (morning, evening)
- during flowering, the azalea is not sprayed, as the plant can shed its buds.
It's important to know! In autumn and winter, the surface of the windowsill is cold. In this regard, a napkin is placed under the pot of azalea so that the roots do not overcool.
Darkened leaf tips from overflow
The choice of plant nutrition involves the use of special preparations for these purposes, which are sold in flower shops. In the summer, gardeners feed the shrubs with nitrogen fertilizers, and in the fall and winter with preparations containing phosphorus and potassium.
To acidify the soil, you can enrich the water for irrigation with a couple of drops of citric acid, but this should be done no more than 3 times a month. If the branches of the plant wilt, they are pruned to isolate healthy parts.
The plant is not recommended to be transplanted immediately after purchase. The shrub needs to adapt to its new location. The transplant is relevant when the bush needs a large capacity. When transplanting, they do not knock off an earthen lump from the roots, but transfer the flower to another, larger pot, along with the soil.
Dry roots are cut, the root system is dipped in water and placed in new soil. The pot for transplanting is chosen flat. Drainage is formed at the bottom of the container. It is permissible to create an acidic environment in a pot by laying steamed pine bark on the bottom. It is better to use a mix that is part of a special substrate.
It's important to know! All dry branches and leaves are cut off during transplantation. The void in the pot is filled with new soil. Watering the transplanted shrub is done only on the 3rd day.
Transplanting a plant with an earthen clod on the roots
Diseases and pests
The defeat of all elements of the plant occurs due to ignorance or non-observance of the rules of watering, feeding, the appearance of viruses, bacteria, fungi.
Factors such as improper care include:
- insufficient and excessive watering
- active exposure to the sun
- lack of light
- moisture stagnates in the soil
- watering with hard water
- high room temperature
- improperly prepared soil for azaleas.
For the treatment of diseases of an ornamental plant, it is enough to eliminate these causes.
The following viruses and fungi are known to infect Azalea:
To eliminate pathogenic flora, fungicides and other drugs are used.
Azalea is resistant to various pests, but with weak watering and dry air, it can be attacked by scale insects, spider mites and strawberry mites. Dangerous parasites make small holes in the leaves of the plant and suck out the juice. If dots and cobwebs are found on the foliage, wash the leaves of the ornamental plant with a decoction based on tobacco leaves with the addition of soapy foam. It is imperative to protect the soil from the ingress of solution. A couple of hours after the event, leaf plates and other parts of the plant are thoroughly washed with cool water.
Special drugs are more effective: Actellik, Aktara. Spraying is carried out several times at intervals of seven to ten days.
All work with chemicals is carried out outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, away from food and pets. Be sure to use personal protective equipment: glasses, gloves, respirator. After spraying, rinse your mouth with water, wash yourself thoroughly with soap. Food can be consumed no earlier than 2 hours later.
After watching the video below, you can find out more useful information about the nuances of growing azaleas and caring for a home plant with small leaves and lush flowers: