Azaleas are showy, blooming shrubs that are great for all seasons. These flowers, also known as rhododendrons, are long-lasting plants that are ideal for both indoor and outdoor settings. Azaleas come in two variations, the deciduous azalea and the large evergreen oriental.
Plant your azaleas in a well-drained potting container that provides ample room for the plant's current root system. Though azaleas require constantly moist soil, they cannot tolerate wet feet. A good drainage system is required.
Fill the potting container with nutrient rich, acidic soil. The pH levels of the soil should rest between 5.0 and 5.5. If the soil does not contain the appropriate levels, it can be adjusted with the right fertilizer application. Promote a sandy loam by mixing a combination of course sand, topsoil, and oak leaf mold or organic material. This combination will promote the azalea's preferred soil moisture levels.
Place your azaleas in a location that receives at least six hours of bright, indirect light each day. Though azaleas prefer ample sunlight, they are susceptible to sunburn when placed in direct light. Do not place your azaleas near heating vents or other extremely hot locations. Azaleas do not thrive in hot, dry locations and should be kept at average room temperature. Azaleas also require cool, nightly temperatures to produce blooms.
Water your azaleas regularly. These flowers are not drought tolerant and will wilt and yellow when exposed to drought periods. Drought periods will also cause the azalea buds to drop. Keep the soil moist by watering your azaleas daily, but avoid overwatering.
Fertilize your azaleas to promote vigorous and healthy growth. Fertilize your azaleas every three to four weeks from February to October. Cease fertilization during the blooming period. Use a fertilizer that includes potassium, phosphorous, and high levels of nitrogen, preferably a 30-10-10 combination. This combination will promote vigorous growth, green foliage and long-lasting blooms. Use at one third of its strength, incorporating it into the soil around the plant. Avoid placing the fertilizer directly onto the roots of the plant as this could cause root burn.
Inspect your indoor azaleas regularly to ensure overall health. Look for signs of insect infestation and disease. Dust your azaleas daily to remove airborne bacterium and fungal spores that land on its surfaces. Spray your azalea's foliage with a water mist daily to promote humidity levels and reduce potential diseases. Prune away brittle, weak or dying branches, foliage and shoots to prevent potential infections. If you find signs of mites or insects, spray your tree with an indoor plant insecticide. Speak with your local nursery specialist for selection assistance and follow the instructions carefully.