how do i look after my azalia please
Azaleas like well drained soil, kept moist, need protection in winter months from sub-zero tempretures and they LOVE pine needles and pine bark!
Good Luck! :-)
4 Apr, 2011
Hi Mrsg and welcome to GoY azaleas prefer neutral to acid soil and part shade. I'm not sure where Sunrose gets the idea they need protecting in winter ours never are! The only time you would need to protect is if they are in pots rather than the ground, even then it will depend where you are in the UK.
I have mine in a pot but only because i'm on alkaline soil - but it's definately not in a sheltered spot and it came through the winter without a problem so really they 'are' tough enough to take it and don't need protection.
That's my take too Louise, neighbour has one in a pot and never protects we had -15˚ for several weeks - it is flowering right now.
My azaleas are all in pots. I have 4 and they were left in the places that they flowered last year. I can happily say they have come through the harsh winter we have just had and ready to bloom again. Wish i could say the same for all my other plants.
The frost hardiness depends partly on the type it is. The Belgian Indicas, Rutherfordianas, and Southern Indicas--commonly sold as flowering "houseplants"--will definitely need shelter in the UK.
6 Apr, 2011
As you said TugB they are sold as 'house plants' I would be surprised if anyone tried to grow them outdoors. Actually they don't do well indoors either... unless you have a cool porch or conservatory.
I imagine a lightly heated greenhouse, such as they were bred in, would be ideal. The trouble comes when people find them in the "Floral" department of the grocers, and poor, teenage clerk can't give them any useful data:
"Azaleas are garden plants, aren't they?"
"Well, umm, I suppose so. My Auntie had some, anyway."
They in door ones do get sold in the supermarkets but are very clearly marked as in door plants. Plus at least where we live all the check out assistants are 40+ and have some idea of what is and isn't for the garden.
Hmm. There's apparently a different dynamic over there. Not usually marked one way or another, here. Also, most of the help in grocery stores, or bargain busters, here are either teenagers on their first jobs, or folks that have trouble holding down any kind of job--sometimes because they don't speak English well!
I've never seen a teenager employed in a supermarket... folk who are 60+ yes. Also an indoor azalea will come in a little pot and generally they are sold around Christmas time. Garden azaleas are much larger and whilst I would not put it past Lidl to sell them I have never seen one in a supermarket.
7 Apr, 2011
Yep, different worlds!
Anyway, Mrsg, The keys are ericaceous feed, good drainage, regular watering--if the rain doesn't do it for you--and, usually, partial shade. In containers, use ericaceous compost to plant it in, never let it wilt, and bubble wrap the pot in winter to keep the roots from freezing. If the label says "florist", "indoor", "houseplant", or one of the varieties I mentioned above, it will probably need to be brought indoors over the winter.
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