The Indian Azalea is a beautiful dwarf shrub, usually of good shape with slightly domed top. Very colourful when in flower, since almost the entire plant is covered in blooms, it is available in a number of different shades of red or pink, and also in white, making a brilliant splash of colour. Theappear before the foliage matures – the early, pale green enlarge to about 11 in long, becoming dark green and slightly glossy.
- Growing season 22-24 °C (72-75 °F)
- Minimum winter 12-15 °C (53-60 °F)
Soil: A soil-lesswith good . The sequestrene it needs is stocked at nurseries and garden centres.
Where to: Keep in a well lit, airy place, away from direct sunlight. Keep out of draughts.
Watering requirements: Use rainwater or soft water, never tap water. Maintain moist soil condition; it should never dry out. The plant needs highfrom the time the buds form right through the flowering period. Mist-spray the buds daily with tepid soft water. If they become dry they will drop off.
Feeding and fertilizer: Carefuland cool steady temperatures. Green shoots beside flower buds should be pulled back until they snap off, to avoid sapping the strength of the buds. Feed well-diluted liquid fertilizer weekly. Pinch off dead flowers.
Rest and care: The shoots which appear after flowering finishes must be allowed to grow, as next year’s flower buds will form at their tips. Re-pot if necessary. Keep the plant, well watered, in a cool room, or a shady spot in the garden from early summer until early autumn.
When it looks sick:
- Leaves fall : Place plant in cooler spot.
- Leaves become yellow : Tap water may have been used. They are lime-haters and must have soft water. Buds drop : Place plant in cool spot away from draughts. Mist-spray with tepid water.
- Plant looks dull and dry : Water regularly to maintain a moist soil condition. Good is a must. Pale yellowing : Add a pinch of sequestrene of iron to its next watering.