Azalea is an evergreen shrub with beautiful leaves, pubescent on both sides. There are both indoor and garden varieties.
- Types and varieties of azaleas
- Features of growing azaleas on a stem
- Recommendations for choosing a plant
- Azalea care rules during flowering and at rest
- Azalea propagation
- What problems can arise during the growing process
Types and varieties of azaleas
Azalea on a trunk is a perennial ornamental plant, indoor and garden type. Outwardly, it resembles a tree, which is achieved through circumcision. The article will tell: about the features of different types and varieties of plants, rules of care and possible difficulties.
There are two main types in home gardening.
Indian Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
Indoors, it is small in size, within 40-60 cm. In open soil, it can reach 1.5 m and more. The species is characterized by heterogeneity of flowering time, shape, color in different varieties. The flowers of this species are larger, often variegated, double or smooth. A characteristic feature is the fact that yellow or orange coloration is rare among Simpson's rhododendron, and purple or blue coloration of the corollas is generally absent.
Japanese Azalea (Rhododendron obfusum)
Indoors it does not exceed 60 cm in height. Often, growing up, it becomes similar in shape to a dense pillow. The sizes are relatively small, but this disadvantage is compensated by the abundance of flowering. Easily tolerates temperature fluctuations, pruning. That is why the standard, cut under bonsai trees, is gaining popularity.
Modern breeders have developed many new varieties, but the following are the most common.
Japanese azalea Melina
Differs in bright carmine coloring, beautiful bending of the edges of the petals. It blooms profusely, the buds almost completely cover the leaves. Differs in small size - at the age of ten it rarely exceeds 30 cm in height.
Japanese Azalea Kermesina Alba
Small snow-white buds, almost completely densely cover the branches;
Azalea "Knap Hill Sylphides" - refers to deciduous, frost-resistant varieties. Can withstand temperatures as low as -32C. The flowers are light pink along the corolla, with a bright yellow spot in the center. They resemble a funnel in shape. The average height of the bush does not exceed 1.2 m.
Azalea Rhododendron Golden Lights
An unusually cold-resistant plant that can grow up to 150 cm.Stuffed buds, golden yellow in color, up to 7 cm in diameter.
Azalea hybrid Azurro
They are distinguished by large flowers of bright purple color with crimson dots on the inside of the corolla. Bushes grow up to 150 cm.
Azalea hybrid Rhododendron Golden Eagle
A cold-resistant deciduous plant that can reach a height of 1.8 m. The crown is wide, spherical in shape. Petals are semi-double, yellow and orange in color, up to 6 cm in diameter, collected in inflorescences of 6-12 pieces.
Deciduous Jolie Madame
One of the tallest bushes. In ten years it can grow up to 3 m. Flowers are simple, large. The color is pink with a small orange spot in the center. One shoot can have 7-9 buds.
Deciduous Knap Hill Schneegold
In the open field it can grow up to 2 meters in height. The flowers are large, wavy along the edge, white with a yellow spot on the corolla and a pinkish tinge along the edge.
Selection does not stand still and every year more and more different hybrids appear. Thanks to this, every gardener can choose a variety that will meet all aesthetic and biological requirements.
Features of growing azaleas on a stem
Azalea on the trunk is distinguished by the presence of an axial trunk, which should be located perpendicular to the ground.
To form it is necessary:
- Choose the strongest and strongest stalk;
- Cut off all side branches;
- Make sure that the stalk grows evenly, for this you can tie it to the bar and systematically rotate the pot. Emerging side branches - cut off;
- When the trunk reaches the required height, pin the upper part so that the tree begins to branch.
If desired, after the trunk (stem) is formed, you can experiment with the crown, give it the shape of a ball.
In addition to caring for the appearance of rhododendron, do not forget about other features:
- Lighting is an important factor in the life of a rhododendron. Quite a capricious plant does not tolerate direct sunlight. In summer, it is best to place it in shaded areas. It is the diffused light that is best received;
- Transplant - it is better to transplant young ones every year, and more mature ones once every two to three years. It is better to transplant by the transshipment method (transfer to a new substrate without cleaning the soil from the roots). This will help keep the root system intact. It is recommended to use shallow pots as a container;
- Watering and humidity readings - if the pot is indoors, it is recommended to keep the indoor humidity high. To do this, it must be watered and sprayed every morning. You can use only rain or water that has time to settle. By autumn, the amount of watering and the frequency of spraying should be reduced, however, with the beginning of the heating season, it should be increased again;
- Substrate - The ideal soil for this beauty is acidic soil. Grows well in hydroponics, heather soil, a mixture of coniferous and peat soil;
- Temperature - the most suitable temperature for growing is considered to be 14-20C;
- Fertilizers. In spring and summer - potassium sulfate, ammonium, ammonium nitrate. In winter and autumn - superphosphate at the rate of 15 g per 10 liters of water.
This is a rather headstrong representative of the fauna. Before purchasing it, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with all the features of its cultivation, since if these standards are not followed, it may simply die.
Recommendations for choosing a plant
You can buy an azalea on a stem at any flower shop. Both adult plants and seedlings are put up for sale. Prices for flowers from 15 cm to 20 cm in height start at 500 rubles.
When buying, first of all, pay attention:
- On the soil in a pot - it must be moistened;
- Leaves should not fall off after a little shake;
- The color of the leaves should be uniform, and the plates should not be damaged;
- Size - it is better to choose medium. Large ones can hardly adapt to new conditions, and small ones simply cannot stand the change of scenery.
After the purchase, it is recommended to transplant the rhododendron along with the earthen clod. A few days after transplanting, moisten the soil with Fundazole solution.
A whimsical, but incredibly beautiful plant, it is difficult to adapt to a change of scenery, so when choosing, you should focus on strong medium-sized flowers.
Azalea care rules during flowering and at rest
Caring for a standard azalea includes: circumcision and pinching. It is better to start pruning at the end of spring, removing weak and overgrown branches, especially those that are facing the room.
It is recommended to cut young branches, leaving no more than five leaves. If shoots appear at flower buds, they must be removed without fail.
To prolong the flowering line of the rhododendron, it is better to keep it in a cool room.
After the flowering period has passed, it is recommended to remove the seed pods. It is better to do this altogether as it fades. If the bolls are not removed, the plant may weaken.
Refers to the few representatives of the flora that are allowed to be transferred. Thus, when indoor azalea blooms, it is not only possible, but also recommended to be moved. But by the rest period, it is better to return it to its place.
When the flowering period comes to an end, it is worth cutting off all the flowers so as not to exhaust the plant.
It is important to remember that even such a capricious beauty, with careful and proper care, will only bloom more magnificently every year. Thus, she will answer for the care a hundredfold.
It can be done in several ways:
- Seed is a difficult method that is often used to improve new varieties;
- By dividing the bush - samples from three years old are suitable. To do this, you need to carefully divide it so as not to damage the root system and plant the resulting parts;
- By grafting - for this, you must first take the plant to be grafted onto (stock). It is better if the stock is represented by a cuttings ranging in size from 15 to 18 cm and belongs to an easily rooted variety. From the plant that will be grafted (scion), a stalk with a bud is needed, which was taken during the period of cutting off young branches. It is recommended to inoculate with the copulation method - make two identical cuts on the scion and rootstock, lay them on top of each other and cover with polyethylene on top. Place in a warm place, water abundantly until engraftment;
- Cuttings are the most common breeding method. To do this, it is recommended to take a half-stiff stalk 6-8 cm long. It is better to do this from late spring to late summer. The stalk should be placed 2 cm in acidic soil (coniferous soil or sphagnum peat is suitable). The seedlings should be covered with a glass container, systematically watered, maintaining the air temperature at 25C. Rooting is carried out in three to five weeks.
Of all the breeding methods, cuttings are preferred by gardeners. This method is one of the simplest, does not require special knowledge and skills.
What problems can arise during the growing process
A whimsical plant can bring a lot of problems, but pests are one of the main ones. The main ones are:
- Furrowed weevil - enters the soil with water, in the form of larvae and eggs. During the day, insects hide, and at night they destroy the bark of the stems, the edges of the leaves. The larvae eat up the roots, which is why the leaves begin to dry out;
- Strawberry mite - affects the upper parts of plants. A characteristic feature of a tick lesion is the folding of young leaves into a kind of boat, buds are crushed, and new leaves are deformed. The growth rate slows down, flowering stops;
- The greenhouse whitefly is a dangerous vector of viral diseases. When affected by them, the stem begins to lose color, the leaves wither. Sticky mucous discharge appears on the surface;
- Greenhouse thrips - reproduction occurs on the lower part of the leaf, where larvae develop and adult insects feed. As a result of their vital activity, brown spots and black dots appear on the sheets - traces of excrement. The bud begins to turn yellow, lags behind in growth. Insects are most dangerous in the warm season;
- Slugs - appear on plants late in the evening or at night. Gnaw holes in leaves, destroy petals, leave behind a distinctive silvery mucus;
- Greenhouse aphid - provokes the folding of leaves, inhibits growth and flowering;
- Citrus mealybug - attacks buds and flowers. Adults are located in the axils of the buds, scales and cracks in the bark. When infected with worms, the growth of leaves stops, they turn yellow and become covered with white cobwebs.
If the plant begins to wilt or marks appear on the leaves, it is recommended that you take all the necessary measures immediately. If you do not neutralize the pests in a timely manner, there is a danger of complete death of the rhododendron and infection of neighbors in the garden.
Azalea on a trunk is a whimsical, but incredibly beautiful plant that will decorate any flower garden. With proper care, it will delight the owner with abundant flowering for many years.
You can learn more about growing azaleas by watching the video: