Azalea indoor – a perennial plant, belongs to the heather family and the genus of rhododendrons (Rhododendron). The ancestor of azaleas of cultivated indoor varieties is the Indian Rhododendron (Rhododendron indicum) – a natural species.
Description: the most common indoor azalea is found in 2 types – Indian and Japanese , but the most popular Indian (rhododendron simsii). It is an evergreen small shrub up to 50 cm tall. Almost always, young shoots are covered with bright red or chestnut-brown, flat and bristly hairs. Small, short-leaved up to 3.5 cm long leaves are dark green above, and light green below are covered with reddish hairs. The flowers, from 3 to 5 cm in diameter, are broadly funnel-shaped, collected in inflorescences and can be non-double and double. open at the same time. The color of room azalea is from white to bright red. Quite often, the flower is two-colored: white with a pink middle, framed along the edge with a border and even speckled. Azalea is very popular due to its beauty and the fact that its flowering occurs in winter, when most houseplants are at rest.
- Homeland: mountain forests of China.
- Content temperature: from +5°C to +22°C, depending on the season.
- Watering: Always keep the soil moist.
- Humidity: Needs high humidity.
- Lighting: bright light, but not direct sunlight.
- Pests: spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects and false scale insects.
- Propagation: stem cuttings.
How to care for an azalea room
Azalea indoor – a capricious plant that requires careful care. How to care for room azalea: the plant loves coolness, the optimum temperature is +10 +15 ° С. This temperature regime stimulates flowering that occurs in late winter – early spring. To extend the flowering period, you need to lower the temperature of the content to + 8 ° C. It is necessary to water the plant with softened water (thawed, rain or boiled sludge) in such a way that the soil is always moist, but not sour. In a warm and dry room, the azalea must be moistened by spraying 1-2 times a day.
The plant should be placed in a well-lit place, but not under direct sunlight. After the flowering period, all faded flowers must be removed along with the pedicel. Browned leaves are also removed. A month after flowering, when 3-4 pairs of leaves appear on young shoots, pinch the tops of the shoots. The procedure is repeated 3 times a year. The last time before the start of laying buds is in July, early August. This is a mandatory procedure that increases the intensity of flowering.
It is necessary to transplant an adult, older than 3 years, plant once every 2 years, and a young one annually into a soil composition of river sand, coniferous soil and peat in a ratio of 0.5: 2: 1. Since the root system of azaleas is located horizontally, you need to transplant into a wide flat pot.
In winter and autumn, the plant should be fed once every 2 weeks in the evenings after watering with a chlorine-free mineral fertilizer or a special fertilizer for azaleas. It is recommended to water the azalea with a plant acidifier. For example: for 1 liter of water, 2 g of citric acid. With proper care, the azalea blooms so profusely that no leaves can be seen behind its flowers.
Azalea room – diseases
Indoor azalea is exposed to the following types of disease: shriveled or falling leaves – insufficient watering, insufficient air humidity, exposure to bright sunlight, or too high a temperature in the room. Short flowering period – the same reasons. Yellowed leaves – excessive dampness or too hard water is used for irrigation. Poor growth, poor budding, browning of leaves and lack of flowering – land unsuitable for planting azalea or lack of timely feeding, as well as fertilizer with inappropriate preparations.