How to care for an azalea in summer and during flowering; how to buy an azalea and tips for growing an azalea
Houseplants Published: August 29, 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:
Azalea is one of the most beautiful flowering plants, which is also grown at home. Romantics compare azalea flowers with tutus - ballerinas' layered, airy skirts. With good care, different varieties of rhododendrons (azaleas) delight the eyes of their owners with delicate and lush flowering almost throughout the year. But it happens that, having received an azalea as a gift, you do not have time to really look at this beauty, as she dies ... Why is this happening? How to help a plant to get used to new conditions? This is what will be discussed today.
How to care for an azalea
Azalea is difficult to tame or adapt to indoor conditions. This flower grows in the wild in the mountains of Asia, so it loves coolness. To some extent, breeders have succeeded in instilling tolerance in azaleas for moderate temperatures during the warm season, but in winter the azalea should be kept in a bright room with an air temperature of no higher than 13 ºC.
Do not water the rhododendron too often, try to maintain a water balance: the soil in the pot should not be allowed to dry out, but at the same time, the water should not stagnate in the roots of the azalea. This can be achieved by placing the plant pot on a pallet of wet pebbles so that the roots do not touch the water. In this case, the air around the plant will be quite humid.
In no case, do not rearrange the azalea in warmth, trying to speed up the onset of flowering - this is a common and, alas, fatal mistake of many florists.
Leaving during flowering
As soon as the flowers have blossomed, the plant needs to be provided with additional support in the form of wooden slingshots. Withered buds must be carefully cut off - this measure will prolong the flowering of the azalea.
After the end of the flowering period, the rhododendron does not look very attractive, since all the forces of the plant were invested in this process. To breathe life into the plant, the azalea must be transplanted. Rhododendrons love heather and deciduous soils, and clayey soils are contraindicated for them. The optimum pH of the soil for azaleas is pH 4.0-5.5.
How to care for the summer
At the end of May, when there is no longer frost at night, you can transfer the azaleas to the balcony. In summer, it is better to keep the rhododendron on a windowsill or in the fresh air, organizing protection from drafts for it. If the summer is too hot and dry, it is advisable to wrap the flowerpot with damp moss, the humidity of which is maintained by spraying. If at home, despite all your efforts to get cool, it is too stuffy, transplant the azalea outdoors, directly into the ground.
We buy azalea - how to choose
When choosing an azalea in a store, you need to pay attention to the condition of the soil in the flowerpot - it should be moderately moist. Do not buy azalea if the soil in the pot is dry - after a while, already at home, it may develop some kind of disease. Choose an azalea in a pot that is at least half the width of the flower's crown. If there are flowers on the azaleas, then check that they are developed, not wilted, and have an even color. The leaves must be clean.
Tips for growing azaleas
- You cannot twirl the pot of azalea often - it is very sensitive to changes in lighting.
- Some florists advise sprinkling the azalea with water and wine vinegar. At least sometimes.
- In summer, it is better to shade the window, near which the azalea stands, with plain white paper.
- Azaleas are very hard going through the change of scenery and, getting into unusual conditions, they start to get sick and often die. Therefore, if you definitely want to have this flower in your house, try to grow it yourself. Buy an azalea in March or April, cut a stalk from it and root it in the peat using a transparent plastic bag over the pot with the stalk. In this case, even if the adult azalea dies, you will grow a young plant, for which the conditions of your apartment will be familiar.
- Recipe for watering azaleas: dissolve 10 drops of boric acid purchased from a pharmacy in a liter of water. Some gardeners in hot weather, instead of watering, recommend putting ice cubes from the refrigerator on the azalea soil: they slowly melt and soak the soil with cool water.
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How to grow an azalea at home?
The magnificent azalea captivates at first sight. As a true beauty, whims are inherent in her, taken by conquered flower growers, because the effort spent on care is rewarded with the onset of a period of lush, beautiful azalea bloom.
As you make efforts, be busy, remember the future joyful reward. The flower is also called the alpine rose: indeed, the proud beauty resembles the queen of flowers, sometimes surpassing her in her perfection.
Azalea is a light-loving plant, but does not like direct sunlight. For her, it is better to choose a window sill of east, north or west orientation. Lighting should be diffused. In October and November, when the buds are forming in the plant, you need to illuminate it with a fluorescent lamp.
The correct temperature regime is very important for growing azaleas. This flower loves coolness. The optimum temperature for it is from 15 to 18 0 С, and during the period of formation of quarries it is even lower than 10–12 0 С. If the required temperature is maintained, the flowering will be lush and long.
Experienced flower growers recommend in the summer to transfer the azalea to the balcony without exposure to direct sunlight, or to put the flower in an air-conditioned room and keep the temperature no higher than 20 0 C.
Azalea needs high humidity, so it must be often sprayed with cold water from a spray bottle. During the flowering period, you need to spray carefully, otherwise the flowers will darken and begin to fall off. To increase the humidity of the air, containers with water are placed next to the plant.
In the summer, the azalea can be taken out into the fresh air, and in the winter, when the heating season begins, pay special attention to the humidity level.
Camellia. Growing secrets.
Camellia blooms in winter, its flowers are striking in variety, but it is considered a difficult indoor plant to care for. Knowing the secrets of its cultivation, you can achieve good development and annual long flowering.
Camellia is an amazingly beautiful plant. It has very beautiful flowers, glossy shiny leaves, many different varieties, and most importantly, it blooms in winter. Why isn't such a wonderful houseplant grown in every home? As a rule, they buy a blooming camellia for themselves or as a gift to someone, admire its beautiful flowers for a while, and then simply throw away the dried remains. She does not want to grow in the apartment.
Just like orchids, camellias cannot be grown in the traditional way. If for orchids the most important factor is the substrate, then for camellias it is the temperature regime. Camellias need cold in winter. They cannot stand the high temperature of the heated apartments. It is ignorance of this feature that leads to failures in growing camellias.
Camellia (Camellia) belongs to the Tea family (Theaceae). These are evergreen shrubs or small trees common in Japan, China, Java, and the Philippines. Europeans got acquainted with camellia in the 17th century. It was brought by the Jesuit monk-pharmacist Georg Joseph Camellus from the Philippines. Now more than two hundred species of camellias are already known and described.
Camellia leaves are simple, glossy, oval, leathery. The flowers are large, very beautiful, single, simple or double. Their color is white, pink, red, there are wild species with a yellow color. On the petals there are stains, spots, stripes, specks, transitions from one color to another. In shape, the flowers are similar to roses, peonies, anemones, carnations.
Camellia blooms in winter at a temperature of 10 ° C. Flowers are odorless, but varieties have been described that have a weak tea aroma. The duration of flowering varies from cultivar to cultivar, but usually from one to three months. Surprisingly, this plant has a dormant flowering time. Growth begins in camellias after flowering in spring.
The most common in floriculture are Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua and Camellia reticulata. On the basis of these species, thousands of the most different varieties have been created.
Camellias are a popular and non-whimsical garden plant in areas with a humid maritime climate. They can withstand frosts up to minus five degrees without any problems. Given the peculiarities of the development of camellia in nature, you can successfully grow it as a houseplant.
Diseases and pests of azaleas
- Signs: leaves dry out and lose their tone due to infection through the new soil after planting or through injury to the plant.
- Treatment: first, it is necessary to pour with foundation, after a couple of days, treat with an antibiotic solution and then with a light manganese solution.
- Signs: yellow spots form at the ends and edges of the leaves (usually chlorosis appears in the summer). Poisonous yellow spots may form between the veins of the leaf.
- Treatment: foliar feeding with iron and magnesium sulfate.
- Signs: at first, elongated brown spots form on some leaves. After the infected leaves dry up and fall off.
- Treatment: treat the flower with 1% Bordeaux solution every day for 14 days.
False shields and shields
- Signs: Convex brown plaques form on the leaves and branches of the plant. Insects feed on the sap of the flower and the leaves dry up.
- Treatment: First, wipe the azalea completely with a soft sponge and soapy water. Then we process the flower with a 0.20% solution of actellik, actara or karbofos.
- Signs: small oval-shaped pests with flour bloom appear on the branches, leaves and flowers of Rhododendron. The flowers are noticeably deformed and dry out quickly.
- Treatment: wash the flower with warm water, thoroughly wiping the leaves and branches with a soft sponge. After that, treat the flower with Actellik's solution.
- Signs: from the bottom of the leaf you can see clusters of small white or yellowish insects, as well as a small cobweb. The leaves of the plant curl up, turn yellow and dry out.
- Treatment: first you need to thoroughly wipe the Rhododendron with a cloth and soapy water, then rinse under warm water. If after a certain time you see insects again, treat the flower with a light solution of Actellik or Aktara.
- Signs: It is quite difficult to see insects on a plant without a magnifying glass. The vital activity of insects is manifested when the flowers brighten, the leaves fold, and flowering does not occur in a timely manner.
- Treatment: wipe daily with a solution of wood ash (Making infusion: mix 250 grams of wood ash in several liters of settled water, let it brew for a day and strain with gauze).
With proper care and proper attention, you can enjoy the wonderful buds of the delicate and beautiful flowers of the azalea Rhododendron with pleasure almost at any time of the year: both in summer and in winter - against the background of a patterned window from frost and bare trees on the street.
Diseases and pests
What to do if the azalea sheds buds, does not want to bloom and looks weak? It is necessary to check if the plant is sick and if pests have attacked it. Most often, the bushes are attacked by the greenhouse whitefly, citrus mealybug, moth, weevil and mites.
The greenhouse whitefly feeds on the sap of the bushes. Due to the attack of this pest in azaleas, the foliage begins to discolor, the plant looks depressed, does not bloom and may even die. The insect leaves a sugary discharge, on which a fungus appears that contaminates the leaves. Whitefly is very dangerous in springtime, as well as in autumn. In addition, this insect often carries viral diseases, due to which azaleas may not bloom.
The mealybug settles mainly on young twigs, buds and flowers. The insect lays the larvae in the buds. As a result of the attack of the worm, the buds do not open, the plant begins to turn yellow and die.
Greenhouse aphids appear on bushes in large colonies. Because of this pest, azaleas may not bloom, and may be stunted in growth. When a bush attacks aphids, the plant quickly loses its decorative effect, and the damaged buds simply do not open. Aphids are a common carrier of viral diseases. Also, a fungus appears on the secretions of aphids. In the conditions of home keeping, aphids on the bushes can reproduce all year round, managing to give up to 12 generations. But this pest is most dangerous from January to early summer.
Greenhouse thrips settle on the back of the leaves. Brown spots appear on the foliage, then the leaves die off. Plants begin to lag far behind in development and because of this pest they do not bloom. Indoor greenhouse thrips reproduce all year round. In a warm room, insects develop faster than in a cool one.
The most dangerous pest of azaleas is the strawberry mite. The insect affects shoots, buds and buds. Plants begin to lag behind in growth, buds fall off or do not open, or produce very ugly flowers. If an insect hits an already flowering bush, then the flowers may turn brown.
The red mite is another dangerous pest of azaleas. Usually the insect settles on the back of the foliage, but it can hit the buds and already opened flowers. The insect reproduces all year round.
Azalea moth is a specific pest, namely azalea. Caterpillars feed on foliage, which is why the bush loses its decorative effect and may even disappear. Due to the attacks of this pest, azaleas may not bloom.
The weevil can get into the pot along with the soil. Adult bugs can eat bark and buds at night and hide during the day. Plants wither quickly. The pest also eats flower petals. Due to contamination of the soil with these insects, the azalea may die.
Often, when keeping flowering indoor plants, processes occur that indicate a violation of the rules of care or the progression of diseases.
What to do if an azalea sheds leaves
By partial or complete shedding of leaf plates, rhododendrons signal the presence of problems. According to the accompanying symptoms, the main causes of the phenomenon can be identified:
- Brown spots form on the leaf plates, the buds dry out, the rhododendron sheds leaves - this is a consequence of the possible decay of the roots, excessive soil moisture.
- A complete discharge is evidence of a lack of space, a change in the composition of the soil, and a lack of nutrients.
- Brown spots appear on the tips of the leaf plates, dry areas - this indicates a violation of watering requirements, indicates a flower drying or watering with cold hard water.
- Leaves dry and fall off - this is a sign that the air around the azalea is too dry.
Once the root cause has been identified, appropriate action is taken. If the azalea has dropped its leaves due to overflow, then it is dried. One of the methods is considered to be pulling out a flower, drying the roots on a dry piece of cloth and adding fresh dry soil. You can transplant the azalea into a new container or leave the old one.
If the alpine rose is partially dry, conditions are created for moisture.For this, constant spraying of the air near the flower is carried out, containers filled with water are placed around the perimeter of the window sill, and the heating of the room is reduced. It is recommended to change the water with which the soil is watered to rainwater or water the soil with melted snow. If, after changing the water, the shedding of leaves slows down, then the cause of the phenomenon lies in excessive rigidity. Care is continued with the help of settled waters.
Causes of yellowing of leaves
Yellowing of the leaves is one of the signs of the development of possible diseases:
- Chlorosis. This is a damage to the root system due to an excess of potassium. It begins with a gradual yellowing of the leaf plates, accompanied by a loss of elasticity of the main and lateral stems. To reduce the performance, the soil is gently acidified.
- The appearance of pests. Scabies can lead to the appearance of yellow areas on the leaf plates. They stick to the lower part of the leaves, cover parts of the plant with a sticky secret and systematically destroy the stems. They are disposed of by treatment with soapy water or special chemicals.
Causes of leaf blackening
Darkening of areas, gradual dying off can indicate various external influences.
The appearance of the black thrips. This is a minor pest that cannot be noticed immediately. It lives on the lower part, blackening forms at the places of accumulation. In order to get rid of it, the plant is treated with a solution of copper sulphate. This method can lead to a decrease in growth rates, but it will get rid of the parasite.
Fusarium. A fungal disease that can only be cured at an early stage. It is characterized by blackening of the stem and leaves. The plant is treated with Fundazole solution. The plant, which is blackened to the top, is destroyed.
Rhododendron mite. An insect capable of destroying culture. Black spots cover all parts of the flower. The insect is dangerous because it quickly lays eggs. It is destroyed by stage-by-stage chemical treatments.