How to Care for Azaleas Indoors

How to Care for Azaleas Indoors

Azaleas grown indoors can produce a profusion of vibrant flowers in the home in the spring with just brilliant indirect light and moderately cool conditions.

Taking care of indoor azaleas is quite easy, but there are a few things you need know to keep your plant healthy.

Treatment Information Azaleas inside
Range of Room Temperature: Temperatures range from 13 to 16 °C (55 to 61 °F) in the winter and up to 22 °C (71 °F) in the summer.
Watering: As often as necessary to keep the soil moist, water (not not saturated). To boost humidity when the plant is in bloom, mist it. Use rainwater because it is more acidic than tap water, which could be neutral or alkaline.
Growing Medium: Ericaceous (acidic) compost is available at garden supply stores and online (azaleas need a soil pH 4-6).
Fertilizing: Use slow-release granular fertilizer in the springtime.
Pruning: The most popular indoor types typically keep a compact shape and don’t need annual pruning.
Sunlight: Best is bright indirect sun. The delicate leaves will be burned by too much sun.
Common issues Without adequate drainage, root rot can develop in pots. In homes with high temperatures, leaf drop is frequent.
Species to grow inside: Evergreen azaleas, also known as indica azaleas, do well in the low light and moderately warm winter climate of the house.
blooming period (March/April) spring.

Learn all the best strategies for taking care of indoor azaleas and how to prevent the most frequent issues by reading on.

Soil For Indoor Azalea

The following qualities must be present in the potting soil used for indoor azaleas:

  • To allow excess water to drain away from the roots and enable root respiration, the structure should be well-draining and porous.
  • Soil that retains moisture allows the roots to access it as and when they need it.
  • 4-6 pH for acidic soil
  • High-organic-content soil is better for nutrients.

Commercial potting mixtures that are crucially within the ideal range of acidity for azaleas are readily accessible for indoor azaleas in garden centers and online. Azaleas can’t access nutrients in pH neutral or alkaline soil, so they can’t thrive there. To make sure the soil has the proper level of acidity for azaleas, designed potting mixes are an excellent choice.

As an alternative, you can make your own potting soil using items like pine needles, leaf mold (oak and beech leaves work well), peat moss, and garden compost.

All of these substances are acidic and help create an aerated, porous soil that holds onto moisture while letting excess water drain away to prevent the soil from becoming soggy, which would encourage root rot.

An even mixture of all these components will offer the proper structure, acidity, and nutritional balance needed by indoor azaleas. Learn how to make the best potting mixture for azaleas by reading my post.

To maintain the drainage pores at the base of the pot free of compacted dirt and to allow water to exit easily, which will help to prevent the fungus that causes root rot, I would advise adding a layer of gravel to the bottom of the pot.

Watering Indoors

Because azaleas have shallow roots and need moist soil, they are sometimes among the first plants in your house or garden to exhibit signs of drought during the hottest months of the year.

The secret to maintaining the health of indoor azaleas is to give the plant a generous soak as often as necessary to keep the soil moist.

You may need to water the azalea more frequently in hot or dry temperatures indoors, frequently twice or three times each week with the occasional spray to promote humidity.

The azalea may only need to be watered once per week to maintain the proper balance of soil moisture in cooler homes and at cooler periods of the year.

Only bright indirect light, which should help to control the soil’s moisture, is needed for indoor azaleas of the variety indica (common name: evergreen azaleas), which is the most popular species of azalea offered in garden centers and florists. You will need to water the indoor azalea more frequently if it is in any direct sunlight.

If you have a decent indoor azalea potting mix, a layer of gravel at the base of the pot, and a pot with drainage holes in the base, overwatering can be easily avoided.

Indoor azaleas are always more vulnerable to drought, but if the plant appears to be wilting despite frequent watering, the issue may be root rot. For further details, see my guide to azalea difficulties in pots.

Important Hint: If at all feasible, use rainwater to hydrate your indoor azalea. Azalea prefer rainwater over tap water because it is somewhat acidic whereas tap water tends to be neutral or even alkaline, which can be detrimental to your azalea. Azalea roots need acidic soil to absorb nutrients.

Since avoiding drought is crucial, watering your plants with tap water periodically won’t hurt, but using it frequently for extended periods of time is not recommended.

Fertilizing Indoor Azaleas

Fertilizing Indoor Azaleas

  • Because potted plants typically have less access to nutrients, the soil needs to be refreshed each year.
  • Azaleas benefit from fertilization by being strong and resistant to illness.
  • In the spring, fertilizing supports new growth and blossoms.

For azaleas, spring (March/April) is the optimal time to fertilize in order to promote new growth and blooms. Later in the growing season, do not fertilize because this tends to promote growth at the price of blossoms.

Because miracle grow fertilizer is developed with the ideal ratio of nutrients for azaleas, it is crucial to use a fertilizer that is specifically made for azaleas. When exposed to fertilizer that is too strong for them, the tender leaves and roots of azaleas can become highly sensitive.

Specific fertilizers (also excellent for rhododendrons and camellias) can add to the soil’s acidity, making it easier to sustain the proper soil pH over time. This guarantees that the azalea roots can absorb all the nutrients necessary for them to stay healthy and live a very long period.

Room Temperature and Sunlight

Azaleas grown indoors (Azalea idicum) need temperatures between 13 and 16 °C (55 and 61 °F) in the winter and up to 22 °C (71 °F) in the summer.

Keep the plants away from drafts, air conditioner currents, heating, radiators, and forced air. Keep them out of direct sunlight.

Ideal locations include a porch, hallway, or any cool space with adequate light. The azalea soil dries up more quickly in direct sunlight, which results in withering foliage, wilting flowers, and limited development.

As is typical of azaleas and rhododendrons, Azalea idcum has fragile leaves that can become sunburned in excessive sunshine.

Having too much shade in a space might inhibit flowering, so for optimal results, strive for strong indirect light.

Choosing the Right Pots or Containers

Azaleas grown indoors need soil that can retain moisture and has pores that let excess water drain away from the roots to prevent root rot.

Because of this, indoor azalea planters must include drainage holes on the bottom to let water drain away and prevent the soil from becoming soggy, which raises the danger of fungus and other diseases. The drainage holes in the bottom of the pot can be kept free of compacted dirt, which can stop water from exiting, by adding a layer of grit there.

Select a pot size that will allow the root ball to fit comfortably but noticeably inside. As long as they get adequate water and fertilizer in the spring, azaleas don’t mind if their roots start to feel a little pot-bound.

Common Problems:

Common Problems:

Leaf drop is the most typical issue with indoor azaleas. In homes with high temperatures or markedly varying temperatures from day to night, this frequently occurs as an indication of stress. When the heater is switched on for the chilly night, this is particularly typical in the winter.

You should have no issues if you keep the azaleas in a room with more stable temperature. By the following growing season, the azalea should recover.

Other reasons for leaf drop are listed in my post, “Why are my indoor azalea leaves falling off?” You may find the solutions to those problems there.

Wilting Leaves and Flowers

Wilting leaves are typically a sign of drought, but it’s also possible that the soil is soggy because the azaleas’ pot lacks adequate drainage at the bottom.

Indoor azaleas are at risk from drought, and the first symptoms of stress are drooping leaves and blossoms with curling leaves. The plant should recover in as little as 24 hours with a generous watering, which is an easy fix.

Always water the plant as regularly as necessary to preserve the soil’s wetness because azaleas like moist soil.

You should plant the azalea in fresh, well-draining compost and make sure the pot has drainage holes at the base if the issue is root rot (wilting appearance with brown areas on the leaves).

Root rot in indoor azaleas can be difficult to treat, but snipping out the affected roots (yellow and looking rotten) with sterile pruners can be helpful.

Yellow Leaves

Turning yellow leaves are frequently a symptom of stress because:

  • An acidity range of the soil that is not optimal (pH 4-6)
  • absence of spring fertilizer applications

Azaleas should be planted in prepared acidic compost, which can be found in stores or online. You can also make your own by mixing peat moss, compost, and leaf mold.

The azalea should recover, though it might take some time, if you water with rainwater and apply a fertilizer made especially for plants that need acidic environments.

As the azalea’s access to nutrients is constrained in a pot, fertilizing in the spring is crucial to giving the plant the ideal ratio of nutrients to maintain health.

After fertilizer treatment, yellow leaves can turn green in as little as two weeks. Read my post on treatments for azaleas with yellow foliage for further details.

FAQ

How do you take care of an indoor azalea?

The plant needs brilliant indirect light all day long or good direct light in the morning and afternoon. Azaleas thrive inside at temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Longer-lasting blooms will benefit from cooler temperatures. Moisture is crucial for azaleas grown indoors.

Do you deadhead indoor azaleas?

Maintaining a stunning azalea tree requires regular deadheading. With pruning shears, you can remove the dried flower flowers after blossoming to prevent a mess in or near the pot.

How long do indoor azaleas last?

If cultivated properly and given a decent dormancy in the spring and early summer, indoor azaleas will bloom between the fall and winter months. The whole show can last up to six weeks, with each individual blossom lasting up to two weeks.

Why is my indoor azalea dying?

High temperatures or significantly varying indoor temperatures are the most frequent causes of leaf loss in indoor potted azaleas. Azaleas prefer temperatures that are generally calm and steady.

Is azalea an indoor or outdoor plant?

Azaleas may be grown indoors similarly to other houseplants, but just like with other blooming plants, there are a few care tips you should be aware of if you want to keep your indoor azalea blooming year after year.

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