Hardy in USDA Zones 4 through 9, azaleas of all sizes are attractive, popular outdoor landscaping and specimen plants. But the indoor gardener can enjoy the charms of these perennial blooming shrubs in the form of miniature, or dwarf, azaleas. Basic care requirements for smaller varieties are pretty much the same as those for their larger counterparts. Azaleas love organic acid soil, moisture and plenty of light. Once established, they’re not demanding, and are easy to maintain.
Plant the miniature azalea in a well-draining pot slightly larger than the current container. Use a combination of equal parts compost and coarse peat. Mix in a little well-rotted cow manure, if desired.
Water the azalea enough to moisten the soil thoroughly, but not so much that it’s soggy or wet. Mulch with about ½ to 1 inch of pine bark, pine needles or wood chips.
Pour some gravel into a shallow container and cover it halfway with water. Set the potted plant on the gravel. Don’t allow it to come into contact with the water. This will help to provide humidity.
Place the dwarf azalea in the brightest room of your home, out of direct sunlight. The preferred temperature range is from about 50 to 75 degrees F. A well-ventilated location with good air circulation is best.
Feed your miniature azalea 2 or 3 months later. Use a water-soluble, lime-free fertilizer. Please follow the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully. Feed the plant every 2 weeks thereafter throughout the growing season.
Mist the azalea once a day throughout the growing season. This will further assist in maintaining humidity.
Water your dwarf azalea enough to keep the soil surface uniformly moist throughout the growing season. Always use warm water. Don’t give this plant wet feet, and don’t water at all during the winter months.
Repot your miniature azalea when you see roots beginning to grow out of the drainage holes. Step it up a pot size, and use the same planting mix that you used in Step 1.