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Question: yellowed azalea
Hi last year my azalea in autumn turned yellow and dried up. Fearing for the frost and advised by the gardener, I tried to save it and placed it in the cellar near the window and watered regularly. These days I saw that new leaflets were starting to grow I brought them back to the garden but I don't know how to behave. I change the soil? Do I have to prune it and remove the twigs that look dry? Or is it enough to fertilize it and water it regularly? THANKS
Answer: yellowed azalea
congratulations on being able to save your azalea; now that it is alive and sprouting, it is appropriate to cultivate it at its best, to prevent it from drying out again.
Your azalea should soon bloom, for this reason, remove only the dead and ruined branches, and leave the others unconscious, you will shorten them at the end of the flowering; after the flowers have withered you can do a more vigorous pruning, shortening all the branches by about half, to stimulate the plant to produce new branches, healthy and robust, and to eliminate all the remains of the discomfort suffered by the plant in autumn.
If you want you can also repot it now, or wait for the end of flowering; generally the plants do not move during the full of their vegetative development, but consider that your plant is found in pot, and therefore in a particular condition: if you move it avoiding to excessively touch the earth bread around the roots, and the supply yourself with a larger pot and a good pot, your plant can do nothing but thank you.
The azaleas are grown in soil for acidophilic plants, buy it in the nursery at no expense, your plant will live in that soil for a long time, and being in pot will have only that available, so it is worth putting at your disposal the best soil you find. on the market, lightly lightened with little perlite or sand, to avoid water stagnation.
Then move your plant outdoors, in a bright but not excessively exposed place, especially in the hottest hours of the day; perhaps in spring any place goes well in the garden or on the terrace, but in July August you will find that keeping the soil of a plant exposed to the sun fresh and moist will become a difficult task, so look for the right path in between, well bright but without too many hours of direct sunlight.
Yes, the azaleas love a cool and humid climate, this does not mean that you will have to drown your plant, or keep it always soaked with water: the excesses of watering bring the roots to suffocate, and therefore the leaves quickly turn yellow and become floppy, and the branches lose turgidity, and in the long run the plant defends.
So water regularly, but wait until the soil is dry before watering again, trying to avoid leaving it dry for a long time.
From March to September, mix the water with a good fertilizer for flowering plants, every 12-15 days; and if the tap water in your home is very calcareous, water the azalea with rainwater.