Azalea -- Florist Plant Care

By The Old House Web
Florist azaleas are NOT hardy in central Illinois and should not be planted outdoors for survival. However, they can be cared for as a regular blooming houseplant.

Make sure the soil doesn't dry out and the plant doesn't wilt. Many azalea soil mixes are composed of a high percentage of peat moss which dries quickly, especially when the plant is in full bloom. It may be necessary to water daily. Submerging the pot and allowing the peat-like soil to absorb water, and then draining in the sink may be beneficial.

Once the petals have fallen, keep the plant in a cool, sunny location. Plants may be set outdoors in partial shade for the summer. Fertilize monthly with an acid fertilizer. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Keep the plant outdoors as long as possible in the fall, but bring indoors before a heavy frost.

In order for the plants to re-bloom, it is necessary to go through a cool, dormant period. Temperatures between 40 - 50 degrees F. are ideal. Warmer temperatures will probably limit flower bud formation. Plants should receive full sun during this period. Continue to water but limit fertilizers. When flower buds start forming in January or February, move the plant to a warmer location and increase humidity.


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