Stunningly beautiful azalea indica in your collection
Azalea indica is one of the most popular indoor plants. It is she who is most often used in order to complement the interior of the room and make it more saturated and attractive..
Azalea Indica: plant description
In nature, the flower can be found on the territory of mountain forests, where high air humidity is constantly kept. The bush grows up to 50 cm tall. The root system is very close to the soil surface. The leaves are small, rich green. The twigs are brown or reddish in color.
Some varieties of azaleas can be grown in the Caucasus and in some European countries..
Indoors, azalea blooms from December to January. But there are some species, the period of which falls on February-March..
Popular azalea varieties:
- Indicator mix.
The plant belongs to the well-known genus Heathers. Most often, azalea can be found in the countries of Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. The plant also grows on the lands of New Guinea..
Choosing a place and substrate for planting
This is one of the most important points on which the appearance of the plant depends. The pot should be placed on windows where there is a lot of diffused light. Direct sunlight can negatively affect the development of the bush and its flowering.
The best location is the west and east windows. But if this is not possible, and you put a flowerpot in the southern room, then during the hot period of the day it is recommended to shade the plant.
It is forbidden to keep the flower near heating devices and under the switched on air conditioner. Drafts and frosty air should also be avoided. They are also detrimental to azaleas..
Planting the plant is best in acidic soil. You can buy it at any flower shop. The best option is a substrate that is intended for rhododendrons..
You can also prepare the soil at home. For this, peat, sand, deciduous soil are combined in equal parts. Don’t forget about drainage..
Azalea indica home care
If you follow all the conditions of care, the azalea will thank you with a lush beautiful flowering..
The plant loves cooler air. The optimal indicators are figures from +100 C to +150 C. If it will be easy to create such conditions in winter, then in summer everything is much more complicated. Many growers move the flowerpot to a cool room or drop it into the soil. In this case, it is worth closing the container from insects getting inside. For this, a nylon stocking is pulled on the flowerpot.
In the fall, it is recommended to take the flower to the loggia or to an unheated room. This will help the plant to lay a large number of buds, which will delight you with bright colors closer to spring..
Irrigation and air humidity
Azalea is a flower that loves moist soil. Therefore, in order for the bush to be beautiful and develop well, you need to constantly monitor the condition of the soil. It is necessary to water the plant only with a settled liquid without any impurities..
Azalea does not tolerate stagnant fluid.
In the cold season, it is recommended to reduce the number of procedures by half and completely stop spraying..
The water that has collected in the pan must be constantly poured out. This will help prevent root decay. It is recommended to acidify the liquid once a month. For this, citric or oxalic acid is used. Add it with the calculation of 0.3 g per 1 liter of pure water, room temperature.
Pruning and pinching bushes
This procedure is mandatory as it increases the flowering intensity of the azalea. The first procedure is carried out in May immediately after flowering. At the same time, all weak, sluggish and deformed branches are cut off..
If you do not engage in pruning and pinching, then after some time, the bushes will become looser, and the flowers will be small.
During the summer period, all young shoots should be pinched, and elongated ones should be pruned. 4-5 leaves should be left on each branch.
Also, without fail, pinch the shoots that appear near the flower sinuses. If everything is done correctly, then new branches will already appear in 2-3 weeks..
Diseases and pests
The plant is quite resistant to disease, but if you break the rules of care, the leaves can infect different insects. Most often on azaleas, the scale insect, flower moth, whitefly, mealybug, aphids are observed. Also, spider mites, thrips feed on Indica leaves.
Transplantation and reproduction of Indica azalea
It is recommended to change the soil of the plant if absolutely necessary. They do this if the flowerpot has become small, the roots have crawled out, or the underground part has begun to rot.
Young specimens change their capacity and soil every year. Instances that are more than three years old are transplanted every 2 years. In this case, it is important to ensure that the earthen lump remains intact. Therefore, it is best to use the “transshipment” method in this case..
- dividing a bush.
The easiest way is grafting. Although in order to grow a new plant in this way, a mini greenhouse is needed, most gardeners prefer this method..
Cuttings should be removed in the spring. It is best to choose shoots that were pinned last year for this. The length of the planting material should be within 10 cm. The lower leaves are torn off, and the planting material itself is placed in a container with wet sand or peat. They need to be deepened no more than 5 cm. After that, the container is covered with polyethylene or transparent glass. For fast rooting, high temperature and humidity must be observed (about +250 C, 80%).
Cuttings should be sprayed daily with water and opened to allow fresh air to flow. After 3 months, they can be transplanted into separate containers..
As for the reproduction of azaleas by dividing the bush, this method is suitable only for plants that are 3 years old.
Proper planting and caring for the Indica azalea is the key to a beautiful and healthy plant. If everything is done in a timely manner, then your house will always be decorated with huge and colorful inflorescences..