This little guide that we present to you in this EcologíaVerde article called Azalea plant: care and characteristics In addition to informing, it aims to bring the reader closer to the world of plants with simple language.
Spring is the best time for flowering and future planting 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. For this reason, 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 its abundant flowering, the azaleas, with a botanical name Rhododendron indicum or simsiiare a small shrub of oriental origin that, due to its more multiple hybridizations Throughout history, it has managed to adapt without difficulty to all types of climates.
Hybridizations, moreover, have resulted in specimens with greater flowering, these almost completely covering the leaves due to their abundance, and with a fairly wide color range 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 be planted between spring and autumn to ensure the best results.
In addition, there are different azalea varietieswhich generally require the same care but offer us different colors and slight changes in shape.
types of azaleas
- pink azalea (Rhododendron Blaauw’s Pink or Kurume)
- Azalea japonica cristina (Rhododendron Christina Girard)
- Karen Azalea (Rhododendron Karen)
- white azalea (Rhododendron Pleasant White)
- mountain azalea (Rhododendron ferrugineum)
Azalea plant care – Practical guide
Next, we are going to give some basic guidelines about 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 environmentsbut not without natural light. In this way, in the case of having them inside our houses, we must make sure to have them in a ventilated area and away from the heating. If, on the other hand, 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.
Humidity and irrigation
To everything said above, there is the need for the environment to have a moderate percentage of humidity. It is highly recommended that in summer the irrigation dose is increased and that it be done more frequently. In their flowering season they only need to be watered every three days. It is advisable to water abundantly, but without letting the water remain stagnant in the bottom or the saucer of the pot. Roots could easily rot if watering is overused.
Sometimes the water we have available can make the intense green leaves turn yellow, so it is advisable to start watering them with pre-filtered water. Rainwater is the most beneficial for them.
It should be avoided that the water used during irrigation touches its leaves and flowers, so always water from the root. If you have 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 plantation, the important points mentioned above should not be forgotten: they need a cool, humid area with natural light as long as it does not directly affect them. The best time to plant azaleas is springalthough early autumn could also be a very good option.
The roots of the azaleas are superficial, so they must be given a good drainage. In gardens, they should be provided with a raised bed so that water does not accumulate, while indoors the use of clay pots is preferable.
Although they adapt easily, they thrive better in slightly acidic soils and their fertilization must be done 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 a length around 15 centimeters, which are planted at a depth of about 2 centimeters. In this other EcologíaVerde article we teach you how to make cuttings. In addition, it is highly recommended to use peat and perlite, slightly compacted, to favor its development.
We hope that this article will help you to give life to your home or garden with these wonderful plants, the azaleas.
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