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All About Azaleas – Varieties and Care

The only patented azalea cultivars that bloom in the spring, summer, and autumn are Evergreen Encore Azaleas. Because they rebloom, these hardy flowering shrubs need little care and provide beauty throughout the year. Hybrid azaleas are not only cold and sun resilient, but they also produce an abundance of blossoms all season long. These work well in places that lack color but get too much sunshine for conventional azalea shrubs.

The Entire Azaleas Story

Robert E. “Buddy” Lee, a well-known plant breeder throughout the country, is the man of Encore Azaleas. Encore Azaleas were developed as a hybrid because of its low care requirements and resistance to bright sunshine. Encore Azaleas originated from a hybrid between a rare Taiwanese summer flowering azalea and cuttings of a typical spring blooming azalea.

Blended Azaleas

hybrid azaleasA cross between two distinct species or a hybrid that has been altered by human activity to produce certain genetic traits is known as an azalea hybrid. Hybrid azalea variants must be multiplied from a cutting; they cannot be multiplied from seeds. This plant is regarded as a clone of its mother. Hybrid azaleas may be evergreens or deciduous. For years, azaleas have undergone hybridization. Numerous cultivars of azaleas that have been cultivated for specific traits such as sizes, colors, bloom periods, and plant behaviors make up hybrids. There are azaleas that satisfy almost every landscape need or personal choice thanks to hybridization!

Place & Lighting

Avoid direct sunshine if you’re a forgetful waterer since the combination of little soil moisture and strong light will rapidly result in a sad plant. However, if you can maintain enough soil moisture all year round, the Azalea will greatly benefit from a morning or evening solar exposure. Never place this plant in a shaded area; if you are concerned that it will be too dark, place it where you can read a newspaper with your back to the light source.

Location: For best photosynthesis, place this against a north, east, or west facing window. Never place an azalea in direct sunlight or somewhere that will become hotter over the maximum 25ºC (77ºF) temperature range; a south-facing windowsill or hot conservatory are two examples of such locations.


Azalea dislikes having dry feet for extended periods of time. To lessen the likelihood of fungal illnesses linked to too much moisture on the leaves, moisten the top third of the soil using the bottom-up technique (see illustration below). Pour a saucer of water over the bottom fifth of the pot and let it soak completely. Do this five days a year, year-round. Avoid using cold water while the plant is in bloom as this may shock the roots rapidly and lead to other problems later on. Fast flower loss and dry, depressed leaves are signs of under-watering; these problems are often brought on by heat, sunshine, or carelessness. Symptoms of overwatering include root rot, yellowing foliage, decaying lower leaves, and a loss of buds or blooms. To avoid a standing water pool building up below the pot, let most of the soil dry out between waterings.


An azalea may easily survive in a room with an average humidity level; excessive humidity and insufficient air circulation can cause powdery mildew. Avoid misting the flowers since this may lead to botrytis petal blight, which can spread swiftly if left untreated. This plant should never be placed three meters away from a radiator that is on because it will roast the plant and the moisture in the surrounding air.


To extend its blossoms throughout the holiday season, use a fertilizer heavy in potassium; a tomato feed would be a great example. Normal fertilizers, such as Miracle-Gro or BabyBio, will still function but will encourage foliar development instead. The plant may be supplemented with a regular fertilizer for the remainder of the year.

Winterization & Perennial Blooms

Achieving a bloom isn’t the most difficult thing to do; nevertheless, those who have a room that is colder and doesn’t have artificial lighting at night have an advantage. From the beginning of fall until the end of winter, when the plant’s development begins to slow down, the following procedures should be followed. When the time comes for flowers, always remember the acronym SHORT from ukhouseplants.

For a number of reasons, including preventing transplant shock or root rot and temporarily stressing the plant, they are best off remaining potbound. It may seem harsh, but the greatest approach to get blossoms is to limit your roots; when it senses danger, it will shoot out a spike. Nothing bad happens to the plant as long as it is repotted in the spring, three times a year.

Light and Place

Make sure the area is well-lit and receives little to no direct sunlight. While the plant won’t necessarily be harmed by the winter sun, you might quickly get very dehydrated and suffer from sunstroke.

Refrain from using artificial lighting or placing the specimen in areas with temperatures greater than 18°C (64°F) until it has completely seasoned.

Drinking Water

Water should be reduced until about half of the soil is dry. It’s critical to keep kids optimistic about life as otherwise, they’ll believe that difficult times are coming and will be forced to pass on their genes to the next generation.

Occasionally Feeds
Use a tomato fertilizer when the plant is in bloom to provide it monthly potassium nutrients.

Cut Everything Down

This one serves as a reminder that everything should be lowered, particularly the temperature.

The temperature

The most important step is to either set it in a room that is around 15°C (59°F) or lower the temperature by approximately 5°C from summertime levels. The inflorescence may still be moved inside the main house as long as it is placed on a pebble tray, but the temperature reduction should preferably continue until the inflorescence has finished flowering. Maintaining a steady temperature throughout the year will put you at a serious disadvantage since azaleas only bloom in cooler surroundings. Never go beyond the minimal temperature since this may, at the very least, cause plant death or yellowing leaves.

Typical Problems with Azalea

When it comes to an Azalea, under-watering is the main problem. Wilting, sunken leaves, quick flower or bud loss, and stunted development are typical symptoms of this. Not only should you be aware of extended dry spells, but also consider which plant sections should be kept dry. In order to stop blights and illnesses from growing, the leaves must also always be dry. The likelihood of experiencing under-watering-related problems is higher in those that are located in direct sunlight or four meters or less from a radiator.

Sunburn caused by excessive sunshine is characterized by sunken leaves, crispy or browning foliage, dry leaf margins, and stunted development. Over-watering problems may arise from little light, but much sunshine can also be harmful. Regretfully, unlike their outdoor counterparts, indoor azaleas are only able to withstand two hours of direct sunshine every day. If yours hasn’t reached this level, cut down on the sunshine significantly and be aware of environmental shock at all times (when two sites provide too diverse growth circumstances). Take out a few of the damaged leaves and gently raise the water level. Only apply bottom-up hydration to the plant.

As previously indicated, thick foliage plants are particularly vulnerable to powdery mildew and botrytis because of their compact form, which facilitates the diseases’ spread. If you water the foliage above its level, extra moisture will collect in the stem’s nooks and crannies, encouraging the growth of dangerous germs. Eliminate the impacted regions and enhance the growth environment by placing the plant in a more light-filled place and using the bottom-up watering technique.

Never set an azalea within four meters of an operational heat source, such as a radiator or fireplace, or in direct sunshine for more than two hours. Because of the higher temperature, the plant will absorb a lot more moisture than plants in colder climates, which increases the likelihood of droughts and eventual mortality. If an azalea begins to wilt, you’re walking on thin ice since this plant cannot survive consistently dry soil.

Many factors may contribute to sudden flower loss, including as shifting locations, inadequate hydration, extreme heat or cold, droughts, and insect infestations. Maintain uniform moisture in the soil when the plant is in bloom to quench its thirsty floral production process. Azaleas may be quite sensitive to the ambient warmth in which they are planted, thus locations that fall outside of the suggested temperature range or see significant variations should also be avoided. The last problem could have to do with bugs. While it’s unlikely that an infestation would result in an abrupt change in health, quickly check your home for mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies.

Another problem might be pests, particularly mealybugs and whiteflies. Examine the plant’s leaves and blossoms, especially before making a purchase, and check its cubbyholes for those white creatures. If there are pests on your specimen, click on the relevant links to find out more about how to treat them and to see how they look.


Within the Rhododendron family, the sub-genus ‘Azalea’ has more than eighty species. In Kalmia, however, some species have undergone reclassification after multiple morphological analyses. Carl Linnaeus coined the name “azalea” in the 1750s, but Jules Planchon was the first to characterize the sub-genus in the middle of the nineteenth century. Its Greek name, which means “dry,” alludes to the propensity of a number of plants to flourish on soil that drains well.

The temperature

50° to 78°F (10° to 25°C)
Hardiness Zone 11 (H1c): This zone allows for outdoor growth in most of the United Kingdom throughout the late spring and summer months when overnight lows are above 8°C (46°F). Should you want to move the plant outside, limit its exposure to no more than one hour of direct sunshine every day to prevent sunscorch. Frequently check for bugs, particularly when bringing them back inside.

Because they like milder climates, azaleas usually blossom best when they have a decent dormant period in the spring, when the temperature falls below 15°C (59°F).


Up to 0.6 meters wide and 0.7 meters tall. Reaching the highest point will need four to six years.

Maintenance and Pruning

To promote healthier growth conditions, remove plant debris and any yellow or decaying leaves. Use clean shears or utensils while pruning to lower the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. Never cut through tissue that has become yellow because you might spread germs or other illnesses. Make sure your cuts are clean since excessively damaged wounds may shock a plant, impairing its development and health.

Amateurs will find it challenging to shape an azalea since it takes a lot of work over the course of eighteen months to encourage a globular form. Rather, wait until the blossoms have completely faded, which is normally towards the end of winter, and then trim the leaves back by one-third just in preparation for spring.


by stem or seed cuttings.

Moderate Stem and Eye Cuttings: Without bottom heat and a regulated atmosphere, this growth strategy is difficult. Pick the healthiest, most established stems that are somewhat thicker than a phone charging wire, woody, and yet young enough to bend. There should only be a few leaves above the 8 cm semi-wooded stem on each cutting. Place the lower half of the cutting into wet “Houseplant” compost. “Blackleg” may happen if the bottom wound is infected, which can lead to a failure in propagation, usually from water-logging or extensive damage. Keep the soil uniformly wet and well lit; keep chilly drafts and direct sunshine at bay. Cover the pot (as well as the leaves) with a clear bag or place it in a small greenhouse, and keep the temperature below 18°C (54°F). When the second new leaf appears, remove the bag and put each one into a separate 7-cm pot. As stated in the first part of the article, adhere to the same maintenance schedules. Since this procedure might take up to five months to complete, success depends much on having the right atmosphere and being patient!


If indoor azaleas are nurtured appropriately, with good dormancy supplied in the spring and early summer, they will blossom between fall and winter. The duration of each individual bloom is two weeks, and the whole exhibit may last up to six weeks. To extend the blooming period, feed the plant with a high-potassium fertilizer; tomato or streptocarpus feeds work well.


Repot every two years in the spring using the next-sized container with sufficient drainage and potting mix labeled “Houseplant.” Because of the increased danger of root rot and repotting-related problems (such as transplant shock), azaleas do best potbound for many years. Repot only when absolutely required, since limited root development will also raise the likelihood of flowers.

To reduce the possibility of transplant shock, hydrate the plant 24 hours before to making any root adjustments. If your pot is in a darker spot, add more grit and perlite to the lower part of the pot to reduce the chance of overwatering. For a thorough, step-by-step tutorial on transplanting, click this link. Alternatively, use this link to find out about repotting plants that have root rot.

If you would want a personal tutorial on repotting your houseplant, schedule a one-on-one video chat with Joe Bagley. This will include suggesting the appropriate branded compost and pot size, and then there will be a live video chat during which you transplant the specimen to provide step-by-step instructions and address any other queries!

Diseases & Pests

Watch out for mealybugs, thrips, aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Powdery mildew, leaf-spot disease, root or crown rot, botrytis petal blight, and powdery mildew are common diseases that affect azaleas. Visit this link to learn more about diagnosing and treating common houseplant viruses and diseases.


Azaleas are very toxic to both people and pets if ingested. Consuming large amounts might cause nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss.

Shop Locations

A few online retailers and florists. In most garden centers, specimens are likely to be found in the fall. While there is a limited assortment of azaleas available in the spring and summer, they usually don’t survive as long as those that are offered later in the year. It is not recommended to bring outside specimens inside since this may cause them to get acclimated to their new surroundings or attract unwanted pests.

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