Keepsake azaleas are long-lived plants that thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. With proper care and maintenance, the azalea tree can thrive for many years, providing annual blooms and fragrance. While some keepsake azaleas are not true azalea trees, all will thrive with the same care and maintenance.
Maintain a high acidic level in your tree's soil. Keepsake azaleas prefer acidic soils that are free from high levels of moisture. The soil's pH balance should rest between 4.5 and 6.0. The soil should be well-drained and contain no levels of lime.
Place your keepsake azalea in a well-lit area that provides several hours of sunlight. Azaleas do best in cool, partially shaded areas that are well-ventilated. Avoid long hours of direct sunlight as the azalea's foliage is susceptible to sunburn. Avoid placing your keepsake azalea in a heavy shade, as this will stunt the plant's growth and prevent flowering.
Water your keepsake azalea regularly, especially during the dry summer months. The plant may require watering twice a week. However, it is important that you check the soil's moisture levels prior to watering. This will help to avoid overwatering, which can kill the azalea. Place your finger in the soil near the root ball of the keepsake, at least 2 to 3 inches deep. If the soil feels moist near the top and dry toward the bottom, the azalea requires watering. Water the plant near the base only, as top or overhead watering promotes disease.
Fertilize the keepsake azalea only when needed. Keepsakes require fertilizing only to increase the growth rate or correct deficiency. If the plant's growth seems stunted or the plant begins to show yellowish foliage or leaf drop, fertilizer can promote the correction of these issues. Use a fertilizer that includes potassium, phosphorous and high levels of nitrogen. Apply the fertilizer only after re-potting the plant and use at half strength. Outdoor keepsake azaleas can be fertilized at full strength. Avoid placing the fertilizer directly onto the root system to avoid root burn. Broadcast the fertilizer evenly around the base of the tree.
Inspect your tree regularly for mites. Lacebugs and spider mites are common predators of the keepsake azalea. Eliminate these insects by spraying your keepsake azaleas with an insecticide. Follow the instructions closely and speak with a specialist to make the proper selection that meets your plant's needs.