Features of growing azaleas at home
The greenhouse azalea is one of the most attractive winter flowering plants and its popularity is growing steadily.
Every azalea owner is determined to keep the purchased copy and grow it in the room. However, for someone who has an azalea in the house, home care for her is often beyond her strength, and after a while a living, fluffy bush turns into a leafless broom. The reason for such trouble is, first of all, insufficient knowledge of the agricultural technology of this capricious culture and unsuitable conditions for keeping it in modern apartments.
Success will come only if the owners of this plant follow the optimal light, temperature and watering rules for the azalea. Home care in accordance with all the rules is the key to success in growing this flowering plant.
It is advisable to keep the plants in bright, cool rooms (about 15 degrees). Azaleas also need high humidity in the air and the substrate of the soil in which the azalea grows. In hot, dry rooms, azaleas quickly fade, and with a lack of lighting, the color of the flowers becomes pale, their size decreases, completely green leaves fall off without damage. If azaleas are still forced to be kept in such a room, then they must be watered abundantly and sprayed regularly. During flowering, spraying is stopped.
How to properly water azaleas
The azalea is watered only from above, and the water should soak the whole lump, excess water is removed after a while. It is not recommended to pour water into the pan, as the substrate is saturated with moisture, the air is forced out of it, and the azaleas begin to suffocate – the leaves turn yellow, become stained, wither and eventually dry out.
Water the azalea with soft water, preferably rain or melt (you can use water when defrosting the refrigerator). It is desirable that it be acidic (pH-4.5-5.5), for which1 literwater take 1 – 2 handfuls of sphagnum peat or half-ripe pine needles, mix well and leave for 24 hours, then filter and water. Various organic acids can also be used: citric, ascorbic, oxalic (0.3 gon the1 lwater). But such water is watered once a month.
Azaleas are fed immediately after flowering, best of all with physiologically acidic fertilizers: ammonium sulfate, superphosphate, potassium sulfate (1.5 g + 2.5 g + 1.5 g – per1 lwater). It is better to use ready-made fertilizers for azaleas, which are now sold in flower shops.
Plant care before and after flowering
Faded azaleas should also be kept in bright, cool areas. Withered flowers are removed. Thin branches inside the crown are cut out and the tips of the rest are slightly shortened, giving the bush the desired shape. This pruning helps awaken dormant buds. Azaleas are pruned no later than May, otherwise by autumn they will not have time to lay full-fledged buds.
4-6 weeks before flowering, plants are kept at a temperature of 10-15°C and good lighting. Azaleas will bloom if after that the temperature is raised to 18-20 C. This applies to plants with an early flowering period. In later ones, flowering should not be achieved until January 1, otherwise underdeveloped flowers are obtained.
We transplant azalea
Transplantation is required for azaleas once a year. This is done after flowering and pruning. Since the root system of this crop is superficial, low pots are needed for transplantation. They should be of such a size that between their inner wall and the root ball there is a gap of 1-2 cm. It is filled with a fresh substrate, which may consist of the following soil mixture: peat, coniferous soil and sand (1:2:1). It can also be grown in pure coniferous soil. It is necessary that the earthen ball of the transplanted plant is saturated with moisture and that the pot has good drainage.