Azalea – flowering shrub heather family. 600 species of wild azaleas live in the wild in China, North America, Southeast Asia, Japan and southern Europe. Currently, breeders bred numerous hybrids, based on the crossing of wild plants.
Externally rhododendron represents branched compact bush. Usually grown two kinds of azaleas: Indian and Japanese azalea. Small shrubs to a height of 50 cm, are distinguished not only by the color of the petals, but also in time of flowering and its duration.
India has large flowers up to 5 cm in diameter, which can be different colors, but most often prevails pink-red tone petals.
This variety often contain indoors.
Japanese Azalea – a large plant, and is more suitable for the maintenance in the garden.
Flower room is easily adaptable and happy long flowering. The plant is not afraid of the cold, the summer can be planted in the garden and keep it until frost.
The strongest feature of azaleas – its bloom. Available with a white, red, yellow, pink, salmon petals tinged. Lanceolate leaves, their size 2.5-3 cm. The flowers are collected in the inflorescence of 2-6 pieces and are located in the leaf axils. Flowering plant begins at age 3.
The flowering period is from January to April. At this time, the azalea is very attractive, almost completely covering the leaves bright flowers. The smell of inflorescences there.
The Basics of home care for azalea
This beautiful plant is not considered as easy to care for. Soil composition, temperature, light, humidity – all impact on its vital functions. Many plant lovers are disappointed after the purchase, because the flowering azaleas room, did not last more than one season. Plants quickly lose their beauty, the flowers fall off very quickly and is just a green plant.
This is due to improper care, usually in the wrong place. Many do not know that azaleas need a cool place. At the same time, with proper care, they can become more beautiful from year to year. Using simple rules, azaleas will bloom next winter season. With good care colorful flowering plant can live up to 30 years.
How to grow azaleas? What to look for? She needs the correct location. These plants feel particularly good in a bright place without direct sunlight. East sill considered the best place for the flower. Natural daylight is very short when the azaleas bloom in winter. During this period, the flowers further illuminate fluorescent lamps.
There should be no drafts or too warm in the place designated for them. Everyone knows that azalea feel comfortable at lower temperatures. More harm flowering brings too warm, dry air. Do not place them in a room near a heater, or other heat-emitting devices,
Of course azalea live at a temperature of 20 ° C or higher, but the ideal temperature for them are figures from 8 °C to 18 °C. With these values ??flower blossom begins, and at a temperature azalea reward saturated colors throughout the flowering period ( from December to early summer).
Ideally, you can keep the plant outdoors, where there is no frost. Since the end of September, when the night gets too cold, azaleas should be returned to the house. You can often open the window for cold air.
Note!azaleas bloom at low temperatures lasted two months, and reduced to two weeks in a warm room.
When growing azaleas need to choose a special substrate. Mandatory requirement – the need acidic, loose, light, fertile soil. The soil for seedlings does not suitable, since it contains a minimum amount of nutrients. The substrate composition should include coniferous ground, and must conform to the desired acidity pH parameters 3.5-5.5.
The acidic environment is necessary for the roots of life, supplying nutrients to the plant during the growth period. Alkaline environment leads to the death of roots, and then the destruction of the whole plant.
So that the soil does not become alkaline, azaleas should be watered with soft water. Ideally this should be thawed or the rainwater, it is possible to soften the normal tap water, adding a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. High alkaline soil index prevents the absorption of phosphorus ions roots, leading to a deterioration in bloom.
Azaleas should be watered properly. They were watered regularly and observe the soil in the pot. The soil should always be slightly moist, it must not dry out, but do not turn into a swamp. If azalea is not watered timely, and then liberally saturated with moisture – it leads to the load on the plant: buds and leaves fall.
How often to water the azaleas? You have to be careful that the soil does not get dirty, and at the same time not to fill the flower. If it is difficult to determine the right amount of water, it is recommended to pour water into the tray under the pot, wait until the roots get drunk, and pour out the remaining water. Thus, watered flower every day or every other day. It depends on soil moisture.
Note!The wetlands thin roots rot and the plant may die.
High humidity is important for azaleas. The moisture content is low, when the central heating is on. You can put a pot with a flower on the tray with expanded clay or moss, filled with water. You only need to ensure that the bottom of the pot does not stand in the water.
Can also be regularly sprayed with small flower spray. Keep an eye on in order to spray the moisture falling on the flowers and buds – it will lead to the formation of unsightly stains on them.
With regard to water quality – the azaleas do not like hard water. It should not contain calcium salts should be selected so soft water. The boiled drinking water are added a few drops of vinegar and use it.
Important! A symptom of a lack of water is leaf fall – watering should be increased.
In summer and spring the rhododendrons are fed once every 7 days, autumn and winter – once a month. It is desirable to combine the fertilizer with watering once every ten days.
Additional information! For the first time the fertilizer is introduced not earlier than three weeks after planting.
Fertilizer with a high content of potassium and phosphorus are used to stimulate flowering. for the growth of new shoots in the composition of the fertilizer nitrogen should prevail.
As water, fertilizer must not contain calcium – it should be rich in potassium and iron. The presence of optimal amounts of iron, magnesium helps to prevent the formation of leaf chlorosis.
Currently available liquid fertilizer formulations, with the addition of micro-macro. They help to create a strong root system, improve the decorative properties flowering crown.
Trim sprouts azaleas
That the plant was lush and beautiful – apply the basic rules of plant scraps.
If you do not engage in formative pruning, crown azaleas will grow more and more, and flowers buds will be less and less. On young shoots to five leaves remain. If the shoots are formed near the kidneys, they are cut off.
Constantly removing withered flowers during the flowering period – the new flower buds will appear again. Flowers cut to quarter inch below the base of the inflorescence.
After the purchase of the plant to be transplanted, but not immediately, but after acclimation. We must give him time to get used to the new environment and then transplanted. In addition, it is not recommended to transplant flowering plants.
You can move it along with a lump of land in a slightly larger container without damaging the roots – this transplant will be painless for azaleas. The root system of azaleas surface, so it does not make sense to have a deep pot for the transplant. It must be more than the previous diameter, broad, but not high, providing air access to the roots of plants.
While azalea feels good in the old pot, it is not transplanted. If the plant ceases to grow, and the soil in the pot dries quickly – a signal that it is time for change.
Transplant conducted in the spring after flowering, if needed. The most suitable substrate for growing azaleas special substrate designed specifically for them, and can be purchased in a special shop. If there is no special soil, can be mixed with pure peat substrate.
After planting, the plant is sprayed with water, and placed in a lightly shaded area. Once azalea becomes thicker and older, you can return to normal care.
Azaleas are well propagated by cuttings. seed method has not gained popularity, the process is inefficient and time-consuming. Divide, as a rule, a large bush for the transplant. It is necessary to do so.
Pests and diseases of azaleas
Beautiful flower susceptible to many pests. Among them – gray mold, rust mite, white fly. Parasites suck the sap from plants. Industrial insecticides should be applied at the first sign of infection.
Why does not bloom azalea?
The most likely reason is that the flower was at high temperatures, thereby reducing the appearance of kidney. Azalea does not bloom when hit by pests and diseases. Errors in the care give rise to aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. Chlorosis caused by improper irrigation water. All affected areas are cut to healthy tissue. Azalea leaves lose due to lack of lighting. The plant is planted in the wrong soil (lack of nutrients). Strict observance of the life cycle at the optimum temperature conditions is important for the plant.
- Summer – this is the easiest time caring for plants
- In the cold autumn colors laid buds future.
- In the winter time to bloom.
- After flowering rhododendron in the growing season begins,
- travel. For azaleas no significant rest period, if you do not take into account the time when the plant does not bloom. But this is not true, because the flower is growing.
If for azalea care is provided according to the rules, it will bring aesthetic pleasure. With proper care, azaleas bloom constantly, that they like the flower growers. The flowers appear on the bushes in the winter, which increases their attractiveness.