New development on my Azalea

shic_2006(4a 5a)February 9, 2006

Remember I have a lovely double flowered Azalea. Due to the cold and misty environment, each flower lasts more than a moth from first showing color. Due to over fertilizing, I have new growths beside flower-buds and at the root/ground level. I notice these new growths, however small; have flower buds on them already. The flower buds look like little green hearts. I also have flower buds showing up at secondary level leaves (below the flowering tops, is that possible)! I wonder if these buds will open this year or next year.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Since you are growing this as a greenhouse or house plant, all bets are off. You have already forced it into bloom. It apparently is not hardening off and not following the seasons. Typically plants forced into bloom tend to take longer to come into bloom after that, but I don't know in your case.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 4:54PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Thanks for the comments. I will take some pictures of the newly formed branches with buds. I will also follow up on this reporting what happens next.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 6:06PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Ok, here is an enlarged picture of a new branch. It is really small. Also NOTICE a burnt new leaf in the top-right corner of the picture. I asked questions. I guess it is easier to diagnose now.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 10:36AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

This looks like approx three small azaleas in one pot, somewhat common in those offered by florists. Truthfully, while a few can grow these well long-term, most of us would end up treating them like a long lived bouquet...it's hard to meet their growing requirements indoors.

You could have fertilizer burn (the recommendation is to not feed during winter months, and to feed lightly after placing outdoors in Spring, where they are then returned to inside conditions after nights have begun to cool in Fall) --- the mid leaf darker spot on new foliage with white edges to the spot could possibly be a fungal problem, I'm really not sure.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 4:23PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

morz8, I had it for more than a year now. My house is heated at a minimum level. Sitting on a large water tray, it grows rather slowly. It was a gift. I made it flower the second time. The reason that I show the new branch is to see whether those are flower buds in the middle. I do not find these too difficult to care for.

I do have over-fertilizing problem. That is because I followed the instruction of the acid lover fertilizer. I also mist them with acid reaction products. Unfortunately, I use changed fish water which is acid and contains Nitrate and Nitrite already. These plus the product caused over-fertilizing. I know these plants do not like heavy/over fertilizing.

On the leaf, that is the only spot I can see on a leaf. It does not have a white circle. I live in cold and damp central NY. I think it is not too hard for me to meet their requirements. The method saves my heating cost too. The temperature is a bit low though: 40 to 60 most winter. That may cause damage to new branches as well.

Are there any other growing requirements that you are trying to suggest?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 5:35PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

You might check on the houseplant forum, I know there are a few people growing them indoors successfully there. I don't even try in my low humidity house which I enjoy at warmer temps in winter - the florists type azaleas will usually do just fine planted in the ground outdoors here after being hardened off.

The usual sugguestion for tender azaleas in colder areas -
Plant it outside after the last frost, still in the pot, with the rim of the pot even with the soil level, or use it as a potted plant. Remember to water it, as the roots can only get the water in the pot. Bring it back into the house during the winter as a potted plant, and put it in the coolest part of the house during the winter.

If it will be staying in the pot, fertilize it lightly every month or so through the fall, with a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosporus to promote root and bud growth without promoting plant and leaf growth. Then let it rest during the winter, but don't forget to water it. Also, carefully remove it from the pot every six months or so to check the roots. If you see fine roots circling the root ball, put it into another pot, 2 to 4 inches wider than the old pot. Before repotting it, cut those circling roots by making top-to-bottom cuts every few inches, all the way around the root ball. A good potting mix is a 50/50 mixture of potting soil and fine pine bark.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 6:40PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

morz8, I guess you do not have these plants right now. They are not that difficult. I included a few images of my current winter plants. Aren't they lovely, and easy to grow!



    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 1:29PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Shic, I have no reason to grow them indoors, they are common as to being close to overused outdoors here.

I'm glad you're enjoying your azaleas - they are certainly giving you a bright spot of color in winter, but you are having a few problems with yours after a year... azaleas with cultural requirements met outdoors will live into the hundreds of years. (People with average household temperatures and humidity do not find these care free plants indoors)

I realize my climate is one of those more easy for growing many things, but cyclamen flourishes and self sows here too, so another blooming plant I wouldn't need grow inside.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 2:47PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

morz8,

Aren't they lovely! That is why I love them. They make me feel so happy if you can see all the snow and ice outside the window. My house is no ordinary house. Its temperature is between 40 and 65 in winter. I use little heating. It is really humid. These pots are sitting on meshes above trays of water. Many times, special cultivars prefer greenhouses over Mother Nature. Anyway, I am still glad that you can grow so many plants outdoors. What plants are you keeping? Do you keep any of them indoors?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 3:33PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Shic, we are mostly outdoor gardeners on this forum. Some people may grow plants indoors as well, but frankly I have no interest in indoor gardening no matter how lovely the plants, and no interest in common floral azaleas, as I can grow so much more outside and my indoor space is dedicated to other uses. If you want to meet others who share your passion, I'd suggest another forum dedicated to houseplants, and you might find more appreciation among others who share your climate. I doubt you'll convert anyone here to indoor gardening, and even appreciation of your work will be in short supply.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 1:13PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

Kairnl, That's fine. Please show pictures of your outdoor plants than. They must look lovely too. I am very eager to see.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 1:44PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Sorry shic, but my time is also dedicated to other uses than taking and posting pictures when I have no need or wish to do so.

I hope you're considering the effect of all your indoor humidity on the structural integrity of your house.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 8:02PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

karinl, I have a lot of work too. I just love them so much that I want to share the joy. You know, so people feel happy for me and enjoy their own lives.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 8:05PM
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