Azaleas are famous for their blooming in the garden. In winter, room azaleas also enrich our interiors with their bright colors. Here you can read what you need to consider when it comes to caring to enjoy your beauties for a long time.
The azaleas used to be a separate botanical genus (azalea). However, they have been included in the genus rhododendron for several decades. From mid-May, room azaleas can also be placed in a shady spot on the balcony or terrace
Indoor azaleas (Rhododendron simsii) are a colorful asset for the gray wintertime or the rainy autumn. Because like hardly any other plant, they delight us with their lavish blossoms. Indoor azaleas bloom from August to April, depending on the variety.
The variety of indoor azaleas
Well over 100 varieties from A for ‘Adonia’ to Z for ‘Zoe’ are available from room azalea (Rhododendron simsii). They are available in elegant white, bright red, yellow, pink, salmon-colored, or pink-colored. The visually very similar, two-tone Indian azaleas are also available in stores (Rhododendron Indicum ‘Akemi no Tsuki’). There are flowers with wide open or more tubular funnels. Some also have a throat drawing. Many of these varieties are suitable for both outdoor and indoor cultivation and are particularly popular for designing as bonsai. The flowering time varies greatly depending on the variety – for example, the variety ‘Eleonore’ flowers in January, ‘Ballerina’ in February, ‘Paloma’ in August, ‘Ganda’ in September, ‘Meggy’ in October, ‘Aline’ in November and in December the variety ‘Nanu’.
This colorful cross-section shows the diversity of the room azaleas. The diverse flower shapes and intense colors are striking
Origin and location
The azaleas used to be a separate botanical genus (azalea). However, they have been included in the genus rhododendron for several decades. They come mainly from Asian mountain forests and prefer a damp and cool climate, which is actually not found in any living room. Thanks to intensive breeding, the new varieties are adapted to higher temperatures. Place your azalea in bright light, but not in direct sun. Also, avoid placing your room azaleas near a heater or other heat-emitting devices such as the television. Temperatures between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius are ideal. Then a room azalea can bloom for up to two months at a time. Particularly suitable locations are cool, well-lit stairwells in residential complexes.
Indian azaleas (here a Rhododendron Indicum ‘Osakazuki’) are often grown as bonsai
Azaleas like it damp, but not wet
The root balls of indoor azaleas should always be kept moist with lime-free water. Rainwater is particularly suitable for watering. Waterlogging must be avoided at all costs, otherwise, there is a risk that the roots will rot. However, there is nothing wrong with occasionally diving the azaleas. To do this, simply immerse the plant pot with the root ball or just the root ball in a bucket with water until no more air bubbles rise. Then let the excess water drain off well before the azalea is put back into the pot.
On constantly frost-free days and nights, usually from mid-May, room azaleas can also be in a shady spot on the balcony or terrace. Make sure that when it rains, the water can drain well and does not collect in the pots. Simply sprinkle some expanded clay at the bottom of the planter so that the planter does not stand in the water even after watering. From the end of September, when the temperatures get too cool at night, you should bring the azaleas back into the house. Depending on the variety, the plants start to develop flower buds at this point.
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Fertilize and cut indoor azaleas
As a rule, indoor azaleas are not fertilized during the flowering period. This is followed by a period of several weeks of rest, during which there is little watering and no fertilization either. Then you can add liquid rhododendron fertilizer to the irrigation water every two weeks until autumn. If other fertilizers with too high a nitrogen content are used, some varieties can become infected with powdery mildew.
If you keep removing the wilting flowers during the flowering period, new flower buds will sometimes appear. After flowering, the branches are cut half a centimeter below the base of the flower. Then place the indoor azaleas as cool as possible, preferably even outside when there is no frost. If necessary, repotting takes place in the spring after the flowering period has ended. Only use rhododendron soil when repotting, because this has the correct pH value in the acidic range. If you follow these tips, you can enjoy your room azalea for up to 30 years.
It doesn’t really matter whether the furnishing is monotonous or, as here, squeaky colorful – the azalea suits every furnishing style
You should pay attention to this when buying your room azaleas
When buying indoor azaleas, make sure that the buds are even and as dense as possible. If the potted azaleas have been left dry in the shop for too long, this can already hurt the flower set – the plants often respond by shedding the buds. So check if the soil is damp. The pot shouldn’t be too small either. It is good if it is half the diameter of the plant. The buds must all be brightly colored and evenly developed. Pests and dirt on the leaves are evidence of poor quality.