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Florists love rhododendrons for their amazing, violent flowering, which will decorate any garden plot, and at home it will delight even when most of the other plants have already entered a dormant period.
This luxurious flower isn't exactly easy to care for. It is worth scrupulous about preparing the soil, choosing a planting site, studying everything related to creating favorable conditions for a young plant and having patience. Only in this case will you admire such desirable flowers.
Azalea is the name of a flower for the home; garden cultures have recently been called rhododendrons.
Is it possible to grow azalea at home and which varieties are better on the site?
You can grow azalea at home. There are many varieties, differing in the variety of appearance of inflorescences and colors.
Indoor varieties are considered to be dwarf varieties, for example, Indian breeds, sensitive to temperature and humidity.
Winter-hardy varieties of rhododendrons are suitable for the garden. They can withstand temperatures up to -25-27 degrees, but it is better to mulch the root layer of the soil, protecting it from possible freezing, because the roots of the rhododendron are shallow and grow in breadth. Garden azaleas are larger than indoor azaleas and require a lot of space around them for a spreading crown and comfortable flowering.
The division into groups is accepted, the varieties in each of them differ in shades of colors:
- Large-flowered (Burryroughs, Kilian, Il Tasso, Strawberry Ice, Xardas, Canon Doubie, Gibraltar, Golden Eagle, Diorama, Doloroso, Fireworks, Fireball, Nabucco, Janita).
- Japanese (Allotria, Bubushka, George Arens, Rocco, Asprinnessin, as well as Elsie Lee and Ledikanens).
- Multi-flowered (Alfred, Album Novum, Belcanto, Kolsap, Eskimo).
- Evergreen Forest (Bad Elsen, Scarlett Wonder).
- Yakushimanskaya-dwarf (Blue Tit, Buchlovays, Danielle, Nicoletta, Prince Anne, Elite).
Timing when working outdoors
If the question arises when it is better to plant an azalea - in spring or autumn, then you need to remember that it is best to both plant and transplant the azalea in the spring. Cuttings are harvested from March to June. The division of the old bush into several separate ones is carried out after the end of flowering.
When is it not desirable and not allowed?
It is worth abandoning the planting of an indoor flower in the winter, because the azalea is a light-loving plant and the lack of daylight will have to be additionally compensated for artificially. In addition, heating in urban environments does not always create a comfortable temperature and dry out the air in the apartment. Young plants are extremely difficult to tolerate environmental discomfort.
You can not select planting material before or during the flowering of the mother plant, if planting will be carried out by cuttings or planting a bush.
Step-by-step instructions for the procedure at home
Consider how to properly plant an azalea at home.
Preparing the pot and other utensils
Azaleas have roots close to the surface of the earth, therefore you should choose a shallow but wide planting pot with a pallet. There must be drain holes at the bottom. It is necessary to take care of the presence of expanded clay on the bottom layer in the pot.
If a young immature plant is planted from a cuttings or after seed cultivation, then it is necessary to prepare a covering material in the form of a transparent film on a wire frame or a jar to create greenhouse conditions. Purchase a growth enhancer for cuttings.
Azalea loves sour, loose soil. It is prepared independently from coniferous soil and peat in a 1: 2 ratio. Vermiculite can be added for better breathability and moisture retention.
If possible, it is easier to purchase ready-made soil. It has thought out the composition and availability of beneficial nutrients in the correct proportions.
The planting method is applicable to horticultural crops. For planting a seedling, it is necessary to take into account:
- Landing site. You need to choose partial shade, or better, a bright place, but without direct sunlight. Otherwise, the rhododendron will shed its buds, which will shorten the flowering period.
- Lack of drafts. Spaces between buildings or at the corner of buildings are not suitable.
- It is desirable that there is a reservoir nearby, but at the same time a place of stagnant groundwater should be avoided.
- It tolerates the neighborhood of conifers well, but it is important to take into account the distance so that the roots of the plantings do not interfere with each other.
- Requires acidic soil.
- After determining the place for the bush, dig a hole 0.5 m deep.
- A layer of expanded clay or broken brick is laid out on the bottom for drainage and acidification.
- Mix the earth taken out of the hole with peat, humus and coarse sand.
- Then put the seedling at the bottom of the pit, sprinkle with prepared soil, tamp it around the seedling, water the planting.
- Cover the loose, moist soil with moss, pine needles, peat or fine bark to maintain moisture in the root layer.
A rather laborious planting method and is often used to breed new varieties. This method is more suitable for experienced gardeners.
The seeds are sown in January-February.
- The container is treated with potassium permanganate or bleach before filling with earth. The soil is fried in the oven for disinfection.
- Then the seeds are laid out on the surface of the ground at a distance of 1.5-2 cm, sprayed with water and covered with an opaque lid. Germination takes place in the dark.
- After the emergence of seedlings, sprinkle the gaps between the seedlings with peat.
- When 3-5 leaves appear on the shoots, they are planted in separate pots and, having provided greenhouse conditions with a glass jar, they continue to grow until the flower finally gets stronger.
You will find more information on growing azaleas from seeds in this article.
This is one of the easiest ways.
- Cuttings are cut from March to June. They are treated with a growth stimulant and then planted in a greenhouse to build up the root system.
- After 3-4 months, with careful care, maintaining a humidity of 80% and a temperature of 22-25 degrees with regular inflows of fresh air, the growth of cuttings is observed.
- When the growth is cm 3, the plants are seated separately. Leave the conditions of the greenhouse, covering the young growth with a jar and gradually introducing the flow of air for 1.5-2 hours a day. Increase the room temperature time every day by an hour.
For planting deciduous and evergreen varieties, the method of selecting cuttings is fundamentally different. It is worth taking a closer look at this issue.
Read more about propagation of azaleas by cuttings here.
Young flower from the store
Store-bought azalea seedlings require transplanting, only at first it is worth giving the flower a few days to get used to indoor conditions.
Most often, the earth in a purchased pot has already given all its strength to the growing root system. The flower also usually needs more space than in a temporary capacity.
- The transplant begins with watering the plant.
- Then the contents are removed and the whole lump is transferred into a prepared pot with drainage.
- Sprinkle the flower with a coniferous-peat mixture and tamp it around the perimeter of the pot, water it.
Young azaleas need to be transplanted every year into a slightly larger pot. For old bushes, a transplant is sufficient once every 3 years.
Where is the best place to put a flower pot in an apartment?
Azalea is a capricious plant, so choose a bright room for it without direct sunlight. The optimal temperature for normal growth is considered to be a temperature of 18-20 degrees. (in winter -15-18 degrees).
It is necessary to maintain a moisture content around the flower of about 80%. This can be achieved by spraying, installing containers of water near the flower, or decorative fountains. During the flowering period, the humidity is reduced so that the flowers do not become covered with dark spots.
Please note that azalea is quite poisonous. The chosen place for the flower should be inaccessible to children and animals.
Further in the photo you can see what the azalea seedlings and the flower look like when it has already been transplanted into a pot.
In the first year, a young plant must actively grow, otherwise it may die. The care will be as follows:
- After planting juveniles from cuttings or seeds, it is worth continuing to grow in conditions of high humidity and temperature, i.e. covered with a light-transmitting package.
- Do not forget to regularly apply fertilizing and fertilizing.
- Water with settled water (you can melt) at room temperature.
Periodically, it is worth acidifying the irrigation water with citric acid at the rate of 1 g per 1 liter.
- Once a week, the soil should be moistened by immersing the pot in a container with water to thoroughly saturate the earthy coma.
- Provide additional lighting during the winter months.
- Inspect for pests, remove weak and prune elongated shoots, yellowing or dry leaves, wilted buds.
We offer you to watch a video about the proper care of room azalea:
How to plant indoor azalea correctly?
Planting a flower at home is resorted to in two cases:
- The method is used as a method of flower reproduction to obtain new plants already adapted to the conditions of detention and strong enough for a full-fledged independent life.
- Over time, the root system of the rhododendron grows and the old volumes of the pot and the nutrient medium become insufficient for the normal growth and development of the plant. In this case, the composition of the soil becomes scarce. With planting, they renew the earth, apply fertilizers, prune overgrown roots.
Azalea planting is possible at any time when it can be seen that the plant is cramped, the density of the crown and root system interferes with normal growth, new shoots grow weaker. The leaves in the middle of the bush turn pale and wither.
It should only be taken into account that for manipulation, it is better to choose a time when the azalea has faded. Indeed, the formation of buds and flowering takes a lot of energy and the transplant will be very stressful and simply deprive the plant of its strength.
- Before the procedure, you should water the earthen lump.
- The old pot must be removed, being careful not to ruin the contents.
- Then it is necessary to very carefully separate the roots, as they are very fragile. If possible, leave as much of the "native" land on the scion as possible.
- The bushes are transplanted into fresh, wide, but shallow vessels, carefully and evenly distributing the root clot over the entire planting area. Sprinkle with earth and lightly tamp the soil around the stem.
- You can water the planting with a growth enhancer, so that the flower quickly takes root in a new place and starts growing.
Azalea is far from a simple plant, perhaps you will not be able to cope with the obstinate beauty the first time, but the result is worth it!
For successful cultivation, it is important to take into account all the nuances of planting a plant, such as: preparing the soil, choosing a place of residence for garden breeds and the necessary window sill for indoor varieties, to think over the observance of humidity and temperature conditions. This is the only way to achieve growth and vigorous flowering.