The name azalea, which is not a technical term, refers to those popular shrubs that are part of the enormous Rhododendron genus. They generally have smaller, less leathery leaves than other rhododendron and have flowers spread evenly all over the bush, rather than in trusses. Sizes range from under a foot to six or more feet tall. Flowers bloom in spring in jewel colors of pink, red, rose, purple, magenta, and white. Some types are deciduous, some evergreen.
How to grow: Plant azaleas in rich, well-drained, highly acidic soil in full sun or partial shade. Blooming will be more generous in sun. Prune for shape after flowers have finished blooming. Remove seedpods to direct energy back to the plant and away from seed formation.
Uses: Used mainly in shrub borders and as foundation plantings, azaleas also make good potted plants.
Related varieties: Azaleas come in a great variety of sizes, shapes, and levels of hardiness. Check local suppliers for types that do well in your region.
Scientific name: Rhododendron species
If you love the azalea's even spread of flowers but don't have an outdoor garden, consider growing it as a house plant. We'll show you how in the next section.
Want more information? Try these:
- Landscape Shrubs: Define your space and showcase your favorite plants with these versatile shrubs. They're organized by type and season.
- Evergreen Shrubs: As the name suggests, these plants stay green all year long, which can brighten many a winter garden, especially in northern climates.
- Types of Shrubs: Shrubs help to create lines and boundaries in your garden, and provide both privacy and protection. Review all your shrub options here.
The azaleas sold as potted plants are shrubby plants with small, shiny, egg-shaped leaves on numerous thin branches. During their flowering season, which can last a month or more, each branch is tipped with clusters of white, pink, or red flowers.
Often sold as temporary plants, indoor azaleas can be rebloomed if their special needs -- acid soil, cool temperatures, and abundant waterings -- are met when in bloom. They are best placed outside for the summer and brought into a cold room when frost threatens.
Azalea Quick Facts:
Scientific Name: Rhododendron sp.
Common Name: Azalea
Light Requirement for Azalea: Bright Light
Water Requirement for Azalea: Very Moist
Humidity for Azalea: High
Temperature for Azalea: Cool to Cold
Fertilizer for Azalea: High Phosphorus
Potting Mix for Azalea: All-Purpose
Propagation of Azalea: Stem Cuttings
Decorative Use for Azalea: Floor, Table
Care Rating for Azalea: Temporary, Demanding
Want to learn about house plants by type? Try these:
- House Plants
- Full Sun House Plants
- Bright Light House Plants
- Filtered Light House Plants
- Light Shade House Plants
- Hanging Basket House Plants
- Floor Plant House Plants
- Table Plant House Plants
- Terrarium Plant House Plants
- Very Easy House Plants
- Easy House Plants
- Demanding House Plants
- Temporary House Plants
- Flowering House Plants
- Climbing or Trailing House Plants
- House Plants with Colorful Foliage
- Fragrant House Plants
Learn how to care for house plants:
Learn how to care for house plants:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer working out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He’s the winner of the Perennial Plant Association’s 2006 Garden Media Award.