Azaleas are houseplants that need a little or no attention from the grower. However, if looked after properly, they reward you with pretty, funnel-shaped flowers of different colours. These are actually perennial shrubs that come in two basic species, evergreen azaleas and deciduous azaleas. The latter bloom in springtime with either bright yellow, pink, magenta or orange flowers, which make them simply irresistible. These plants grow best in zones 4 or 5 through 9. If you are planning to add azaleas to your indoor plant collection then go for the one that is either native to or appropriate to your region’s climate. This way you will have little to do in caring for the azaleas during the winter months to promote optimal health.
Azaleas enjoy cold weather and low temperatures, so plant them in a spot cooled by partial shade. However, make sure that the place gets enough light to fight dampness. Since these shrubs prefer shade, select a place near a good shade tree, like red oaks. Some species of azaleas also tolerate direct sunlight, given you water them adequately.
Potting soil should be a bit acidic, with about 5.5 pH. To make your garden soil acidic, amend it with decomposed sawdust or pine bark. You can also apply garden compost. If your garden soil is overly alkaline, that is the soil pH is well above 7, than correct it by applying some acidic fertilizers. These special fertilizers contain ammonium-N content, which is crucial in lowering soil pH. If you are growing an azaleas in a container then make sure that the pot has a good drainage system.
Never let the compost dry out completely; however, do not over-water. Reduce any regular watering during the autumn and stop it in the fall and throughout the winter.
Azaleas enjoy low temperatures, but cover your plant with a sheet or plastic trap during an unexpected, sudden drop in temperature. Otherwise, the shrub may undergo shock and that will affect its growth during that particular season.
Azaleas will continue grow every year, so prune your plant regularly to keep it uniform. Cut away the branches that are broken, or coloured, or even if appear to be spotted. Cut just above the node, the point from where a new branch forms.