Gardening

The azalea, a delicate winter flower


With its vibrant blooms, so precious in winter, the azalea is a classic holiday gift.

Fragile, it requires some care to last.

From the rhododendron family, theazalea is from Japan where it was imported from the 18th centurye century. In the land of the rising sun, it is offered as a lucky charm. Here, it is present at the florists in winter, adorned with flowers in bright colors, red, pink, white, purple or two-tone. According to a recent study, the latter would even have a positive influence on concentration.

Careful fragile!

As the azalea blooms normally in the spring, it is a "forced" flowering plant that you will find at your local florist. This makes it extremely fragile and generally ephemeral… because it fears the heat of apartments, its ideal temperature being rather between 10 and 15 ° C! Difficult in its conditions to offer it an optimal environment ...

To promote its chances of lasting, install it in the light, without direct rays and keep the soil moist without soaking it. As with all plants, drain the pot after watering, do not let water stagnate in the saucer, this suffocates the roots and ends up rotting them.

After flowering

To make the azalea bloom again, remove the dead flowers and place the plant in a cool, dark place. Water from time to time without excess. In the spring, take it out in partial shade and give it fertilizer to strengthen it. Bring it in before the first frost, then you may be lucky enough to see new flowers appear.

Read also: how to grow azalea well

In the garden

TheJapanese azalea (rhododendron obtusum), unlike that of florists, can be kept in the garden all year round. Install it in heather soil, in a sheltered place and mulch its foot in winter to protect it from the cold.

As for the deciduous azalea (mollis), which loves mild summers and cold winters (it can withstand up to -25 ° C), it offers large, colorful flowers that you will enjoy on the balcony or in a bed.

L. H.

Visual credit:Flower office

Video: Azalea as houseplants (November 2020).