The Q&A Archives: Azaleas

Question: You can buy azaleas, in the summer, in full bloom. How can I force my plants to bloom twice in a year? It seems as if a plant which is purchased in the bloom, in the summer continues to bloom twice a year.

Answer: The plants you purchased were probably Rhododendron simsii (Indian Azalea) or Rhododendron obtusum (Japanese Azalea). Both of these plants will bloom in spring and summer (and indoors in the winter) if given the proper growing conditions. The standard, garden-variety Azalea can be one of hundreds of hybrids, all genetically programmed to bloom in the spring. You can't change the genetics of your plants, but you can purchase those that will bloom over a longer season.

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