Azalea plants may be kept indoors for as long as the flowers are colourful. Place the plants in a location which has bright but indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist at all times, but never waterlogged. Azalea plants which are grown in pots are frequently in a root-bound condition, and may need to be watered fairly often. Don't allow the plants to sit in a water-filled saucer, or the roots may be damaged. Azaleas' benefit from regular misting with water to increase the humidity around them.
Once the blooms have faded, caring for azalea plants is easiest if they are planted outdoors. Choose a bright location which is out of direct sunlight. Dig a hole at least twice as wide and deep as the plant's root ball. Add a generous amount of peat moss to the soil, which will increase the organic content and raise the acidity to a level preferred by azaleas. Refill the hole about two-thirds deep slightly mounding it at the center. Remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen up the root ball, cutting through it with a knife if necessary, so as to encourage new roots to grow into the surrounding earth. Place the plant on top of the mounded soil in the hole and spread the roots around. Fill in around the plant with the remaining soil mixture and water generously to help settle the plant.
Azaleas grow slowly and rarely need pruning. To maintain them at a certain size or to increase the density of their growth, azaleas may be pruned immediately after they've completed flowering, just as the new growth is being produced. These shrubs bloom each spring on the previous season's growth, having formed buds by summer's end, so don't prune them after early summer .
Properly caring for azalea plants includes regular feeding to promote healthy growth and copious flowers. Choose a fertilizer which has been specially formulated for acid-loving plants, such as camellias, hollies, and rhododendrons, and apply according to the manufacturer's directions during the growing season.
With just a little tender loving care, your azalea plants will flourish for generations, rewarding you each spring with bouquets of lovely flowers to grace your landscape or garden.
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