Bringing In Azaleas - Knowledgebase Question

Staten Island, NY
Question by LKSYDNEE
October 26, 1999
I HAVE AN AZALEA THAT WAS PLANTED THIS SUMMER IN A MED POT. I HAVE NO ROOM TO PLANT IT OUT SIDE. CAN I TAKE IT IN FOR THE WINTER, AND IF SO HOW CAN I CARE FOR IT...


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Answer from NGA
October 26, 1999

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Depending on the type of azalea you have, you may be able to bring it indoors successfully. Those frequently grown as florists azaleas seem to do better as houseplants than the more winter hardy types. There are two types of Azaleas available as flowering pot
plants and are best suited for wintering indoors. The Indian
Azalea (Rhododendron simsii) is the most popular one. The
second type is the Japanese Azalea (Rhododendron
obtusum). Both are dwarf shrubs which grow about 1' - 1
1/2' tall. The Indian Azalea blooms in pink, white, red or
purple, and some are white-edged. The flowers of the
Japanese Azalea are smaller, but the plant has the advantage
of growing outdoors in mild winter climates. Either type will
thrive indoors if the soil is kept wet (not just moist), it's in a
brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight, and the plant is
kept cool (50F - 60F) at all times. Mist the leaves daily
while the plant is in bloom and remove spent blooms to
encourage additional flowering.

If on the other hand your is a winter hardy type of azalea, you might have trouble keeping it healthy over the winter. I would suggest finding a sheltered spot and sinking the pot in the ground temporarily over the winter or perhaps keeping it in a very cool yet very bright location such as an unheated porch.

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