Azalea, rhododendron, or, of the heath family is rightfully one of the most ornamental shrubs that adorn the house bright blooms in the darkest time of the year and surprise an abundance of flowers, behind which sometimes can not see the leaves. Flowering species and varieties native to China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. Funnel-shaped flowers - white, pink, crimson, bright red - monochrome or two-color - in racemes or corymbose.
The most valuable are varieties derived from species of rhododendron rhododendron Indian and Sims, large flowers blooming in winter to spring. In Japanese azalea flowers are small, it blooms in April, sometimes at Christmas. In eastern countries azaleas cultivated as favorite flowering plants since ancient times, and their flowers - a symbol of joy, peace and freedom.
With good care of azalea becoming every year more and more beautiful. After flowering should be cut all the faded flowers and thickened shoots (caution: rhododendrons may contain toxic chemicals!). Pruning shoots need a few times early in the summer to form a lush bush. Also pinch shoots produced immediately before or during flowering.
Azaleas like light to partial shade, but can not stand the sun.
Provide her cool (autumn and winter of 5-10 degrees for aging buds, buds swelling at 18 degrees) and plenty of fresh air, from early May can be kept outdoors in partial shade. Watering with soft water, avoiding over-watering or drying of the earth. Summer watering hearty autumn to form buds watering cut. Spring and summer spray. Once a month in the summer put the pot for a short time in a bucket of water, wait for draining excess water and put in place the same way as he stood at the window (tape label the pot), or change the situation in relation to light can cause leaf fall.
Young plants are transplanted each year, old every 2-3 years in the land of rhododendron (or prepare a mixture of peat, sod of earth and sand in the ratio of 5: 1: 1), plants do not tolerate lime. When transplanting azaleas desirable to break the root ball (as on the roots are beneficial soil fungi), instead transplant recommended handling with the addition of fresh substrate. From late February until August 2 times a month fertilize flower fertilizer without lime, or add to the water rhododendron fertilizer low concentration.
At too high temperature and dry air azalea infestation of spider mites, which can lead to yellowing and defoliation. Spider mite or red spider - a very small sucking insects on the underside of the leaf forms a weave of thin white strands. Wash the leaves of the plant with water spray from the shower, covering the ground with plastic wrap, and have a drug treatment leaves before the disappearance of pests.
Processing chemicals because of their toxicity is undesirable in a residential area, so be prepared and use drugs from plants: decoctions and infusions of tobacco, onions, garlic, pepper, yarrow, calendula, and so forth. Increase the frequency of sprays not only the plant itself, but also the space around it. Humidity can be increased by using an electric humidifier, and placed next to the plant wide flat tray with water.
Azaleas are suitable for creating a bonsai, but you need to bear in mind that the barrel a bit brittle and with careful bending it should be supported by hand. Autumn azalea groomed impart a desired shape (or polukaskadnuyu metÑ‘lochnuyu) and transplanted into a bowl for bonsai.