Our new Azalea.... some questions from newbie

suchimomJanuary 29, 2006

We just had an azalea delivered to us by a local grocer/florist, and they don't have a tag on it to say which one it is, but it's in full bloom, bright red, smallish (2" or so) dark green leaves, and quite nice looking, very lush. But is this an outdoor plant for our area? Should I plant it outside anytime soon? Can it thrive as a houseplant, and under what conditions? Sorry for the ignorance, but I've never owned an azalea in my life! It is pretty though, and I would love to help it be a happy plant.

Thanks for any tips or suggestions, in advance!

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

No. SInce you are in Kansas, and this is a greenhouse plant, it is highly unlikely that it would even live one year outdoors. Treat it as a house plant. I would put it outside after there is no chance for a frost and bring it indoors before the first frost unless you want to take care of it indoors all summer. It likes a little acidity and very good drainage. Don't drown it, but don't allow it to go completely dry either.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rhododendron Culture

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 4:27PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Enjoy your pretty plant indoors, but don't expect it to survive planted in the ground in your zone.

Place in bright, indirect light indoors. Keep this soil evenly moist but not soggy at all times. Never allow it to dry out. Avoid direct heat. Mist leaves occasionally and pick off any faded flowers promptly. This plant may be placed out doors for the summer in indirect light, no direct sun.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:59PM
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Thanks so much for the info. plus all that detail in the link.... very helpful.

I didn't notice in the linked page whether or not there was an upper temp. limit for these plants to thrive, and if I put it outside in the summer here it could get up to 100 degrees f or more. Will it tolerate that kind of heat?

Thanks again for all.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 8:41PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

It should. They are greenhouse plants and are more tolerant of heat than cold. If it does start to look bad outside, you can treat it as a house plant. I think it will do OK outdoors though. The main thing is to keep the roots from getting too hot. It is a good idea to put it in part shade and bury the pot in the ground or at least pile mulch around the pot.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 10:01AM
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