Pink azaleas have arrives for our Boston interior office- scapes. Azaleas are the harbinger of spring. These flowering evergreens are incorporated in Plantscape Designs weekly flowering programs.
The more common causes of the complete death of an azalea are improper planting, root problems due to poor drainage or too much watering, over-fertilizing, or completely drying out and temperature swings than it could withstand (which may not show up until warm weather sets in).
Some varieties of evergreen azaleas are grown for sale by florists in full bloom at almost any time of the year. Try to find out the variety of your gift azalea, and look it up in a reference book, to see if it is cold hardy in your area (most of them can’t stand a frost). If it is, enjoy it inside until spring and then plant it outside in a part-sun, part-shade place in the garden. If you want to prune it, do that soon after it blooms, to avoid cutting off the buds for next year’s blooms.
While it is in the house, remove its pretty paper wrapper, and water it deeply and infrequently. A good way is to soak it in a tub of water until the bubbles stop, and then let it drain out the excess water. Do this about once a week. Exactly how often depends on its potting mix and the temperature and humidity of the room. The goal is to have moist soil, rather than having it either saturated or dry for more than a few hours at a time. Keeping it in a cool area of the house will lengthen the bloom period. Putting the pot on or near a saucer of water and gravel will raise the humidity and help it hold its leaves.
If the azalea is not cold-hardy, you can plant it outside after the last frost, still in the pot, with the rim of the pot even with the soil level, or use it as a potted plant. Remember to water it, as the roots can only get the water in the pot. Bring it back into the house during the winter as a potted plant, and put it in the coolest part of the house during the winter. PDI servicing the greater Cambridge, MA officescape area.