Caring for the azalea: tips
The Ghent azalea does not require much care. They are easy indoor plants that blossom for weeks with minimal care.
In the shop
You will find azaleas in the shops from August to May. Choose one with uniform candle-shaped buds. You should already be able to see the colour of the blossoms. It’s better to avoid plants whose buds have not yet opened. Curling leaves are not a good sign. The leaves should be more or less horizontal.
Azaleas are not choosy, but they do like sufficient indirect light. The fresher the environment, the longer it flowers. But azaleas are not discouraged by central heating or air conditioning. Though of course it’s never a good idea to put plants right next to heaters.
Watering and dressing
Don’t give them too much water, nor too little. If the soil feels like a damp cloth that’s been wrung out, then you are on the right track. However, the Ghent azalea does need more moisture when in bloom, but does not like to be standing in water, so don’t leave any in the dish under the pot. Refresh it occasionally by immersing it in a bucket of water until all the air is out of the soil. Then let it drain well. Azaleas are not very susceptible to disease, so dressing is not necessary.
Taking cuttings yourself
Reproducing plants is a troublesome job that is best left to professionals. Nurserymen obtain flowering plants by creating the perfect conditions of light, temperature and plant nutrients. This requires a lot of experience and expertise. Each variety has its own requirements.