I recently received a flowering azalea as a gift. How do I care for it?

Question: 

I recently received a flowering azalea as a gift. How do I care for it?

Answer: 

In the home, place the azalea in a brightly lit, cool location.  An ideal site is one near a window that receives bright light (but no direct sunlight) and temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

An important aspect of caring for an azalea is proper watering.  Water needs can be determined with your finger.  Check the potting soil daily.  When the soil surface becomes dry to the touch, water the plant until water begins to flow out the bottom of the pot.  The pots of most azaleas are placed inside decorative pot covers.  When watering the azalea, carefully remove the pot covering, water the plant in the sink, then drop the azalea back into the pot cover. 

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