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


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


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

pink azalea in florist shopAn 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. 

Compost plants when flowering has finished.  The varieties of azalea sold as flowering potted plants at the florist are not winter hardy in Iowa.  Azalea requires a complicated series of steps to get plants to bloom and providing those conditions at home is not practical.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on . The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.