Is the azalea hardy? So hibernate azaleas in the pot


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azalea

An azalea in a pot fills flowers on the windowsill or balcony. At the end of the heyday, the question of hardiness comes to mind, so that the picturesque spectacle will be repeated next year. To give an informed answer, it must be known whether it is a room azalea or a garden azalea. From this knowledge results the right measures for a healthy winter time. This guide explains the differences in the colorful azalea empire and provides precise instructions for successful wintering.

Azalea species defines winter hardiness

A short excursion into the botanical background of azaleas gives more information about the winter hardiness. Azaleas are assigned to the broader genus Rhododendron, which covers more than 1,000 species. In contrast to the majestic, evergreen flowering shrubs, which are well known to us from parks and gardens, the approximately 100 species of azaleas are comparatively small ornamental shrubs, which are mainly cultivated in the pot. The respective origin, growth behavior and flowering time define the concrete winter hardiness. The outstanding differences are summarized in the following for you in a compact form:

Garden Azalea

  • Deciduous flowering shrubs of European or East Asian origin
  • Flowering period from May to June, rarely until July
  • Winter hardy - 25 degrees Celsius
As a rule of thumb, any deciduous Rhododendron species is added to winter garden azaleas. The stature height extends over a wide range of petite 25 to 35 cm for a deciduous Japanese azalea (Rhododendron obtusum) to majestic 200 cm for the azalea species Rhododendron luteum.

Room Azalea

  • Evergreen flowering shrubs of tropical or subtropical origin
  • Flowering period from September to April
  • Not hardy
The biodiversity among the non-hardy room azaleas is essentially limited to the Indian Azalea (Rhododendron simsii) and the evergreen Japanese Azalea (Rhododendron japonicum). From these two species, a colorful array of beautiful hybrids has emerged, which sit on the windowsill scene. Its stature height extends to 30 to 60 cm, the ideal format for a houseplant.

Overgrow garden azalea in a pot - That's how it works

small-pointed azalea - Rhododendron mucronulatum

Have you identified your azalea as a hardy garden species with summer flowering? Then it can be dispensed with planted specimens on a special winter protection. In pot culture, however, the root system is in an exposed position, which offers a free flank of freezing frost. Vessel walls and substrate by far do not fulfill the protective function of a garden floor. To ensure that the beauties of the flowers survive the cold season unscathed, the focus is on the following measures, which are based on the pot size:
Pot diameter larger than 30 cm:
  • Do not fertilize in July
  • Before the first frost spend in front of a wind and rain protected house wall
  • Put the pot on a wooden block or a thick polystyrene mat
  • Wrap several layers of foil or fleece around the vessel
  • The substrate cover with foliage or bark mulch
Pot diameter less than 30 cm:
  • Do not fertilize in July
  • At least after the first frosty night grant
  • The winter quarters are frost-free and not too warm
  • Ideal temperatures are between 3 and 10 degrees Celsius
Regardless of whether your pot azalea overwinters indoors or out, it must not be drought-prone. Therefore, pour soft, lime-free water when the substrate surface is dry. In the open air, snow water is ideal for watering as it has the ideal temperature to provide the cool root ball with moisture.
Since garden azaleas discard their leaves, the location may be shady or dark. Winter harsh pot azaleas are not suitable for wintering in the bright, well-heated living room. The bloom induction for the next season is necessarily dependent on a wintry growth rest under cool conditions.
Tip: Blossom-rich azalea hybrids are usually grafted on a sturdy game pad, such as Rhododendron ponticum, to strengthen the winter hardiness. Unfortunately, the pad permanently strives to gain the upper hand with wild shoots from the rootstock. By consistently tearing off or cutting off these tightly erect pods, you are effectively stopping unwanted growth.

Room Azalea - hibernation guide

Flowering time and wintertime are in sync for the room azalea. For this reason, the successful hibernation designed a little more elaborate and demanding than for the hardy garden azaleas.The following instructions explain step by step, what is important in the winter maintenance program.

site conditions

If you have purchased a room azalea with buds and flowers in the fall, keep in mind that the plant comes from a light-flooded, cool and humid greenhouse. Therefore, first assign her a partially shaded space in the unheated bedroom or stairwell, where the mercury column moves between 8 and 13 degrees Celsius. If the exotic plant is exposed to dry heating air without this phase of hardening, this shock will at worst cause the buds, flowers and leaves to be discarded.

Five-petalled azalea - Rhododendron quinquefolium


If all blossoms have opened after a few days, the houseplant takes a position on the bright, not completely sunny windowsill in a living room with temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. Ideal is a window facing south, southwest or southeast. Here the evergreen ornamental shrubs linger until the end of flowering.
Tip: The summer time spend room Azaleas with preference in a partially shady location on the balcony. When the first buds appear in September, the flowering shrubs change behind glass to a bright, cool location with 8 to 13 degrees Celsius, so that the flower spectacle repeats itself in the coming winter.

Pouring and fertilizing in winter

The exotic plants combine the flowering time with their native dry season, whereas during the European summer rainy season prevails in their tropical habitats. As a result, from the month of September until the end of flowering, you will only be able to water a room azalea when the substrate has dried. Please use only collected rainwater or decalcified tap water. Room azaleas in hard water poured into the pot in a short time suffer from leaf chlorosis and throw off their flowers in winter.
In the course of hibernation, a room azalea does indeed bear its flowers. Between September and April, the plant otherwise stops growing. Therefore, the nutrient supply is limited to the time from May to August.
Tip: Azaleas in the pot rely on an acidic special substrate. Use only azalea or peat soil with a pH of 4.0 to 5.5. Pure peat culture substrate does not meet the high quality standards satisfactorily.

Pruning marks the end of wintering

For your room azaleas, a form and maintenance cut marks the end of the winter care program. Already during the hibernation, withered flowers should be plastered in a timely manner so that the plant does not invest its energy in the growth of seed stalls. Before the care leads to the summer growth period, simply cut back long shoots.

Hardy varieties

Gibraltar (Rhododendron luteum)
Do you have a thing for the color orange? Then you will not pass this premium azalea. Its bright orange-red flowers are daintily ruffled on the edge and reach a size of at least 8 cm. Before the rich green foliage falls to the ground in autumn, it takes on a golden yellow and red color. As Gibraltar is one of the larger azaleas, this hybrid can easily hibernate outside in the pot, as explained in this guide.
  • Flowering time: End of May to mid-June
  • Growth height: 150 to 200 cm
Snow gold (Rhododendron luteum)
White flowers may not be missing on the summery balcony. The deciduous azalea holds what its variety name promises. At the same time the flowering shrub inspires with a dense, compact growth and a winter hardiness of up to - 24 degrees Celsius. In the large pot, winter protection according to this manual ensures that snow gold will unfold its pure white flowers again next year.
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Growth height: 110 to 150 cm
Rococo (Rhododendron obtusum)
This Japanese azalea impresses with a pillow-shaped growth, which is wonderful in the pot. Every single one of her salmon-pink flowers is a feast for the eyes. The slightly wavy flower edges create a particularly picturesque appearance. Although the piece of jewelry planted is hardy until - 24 degrees Celsius, it settles in the small pot for the winter in a frost-free winter quarters, as this guide to the heart.
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Growth height: 30 to 40 cm

Evergreen room azaleas

Bicolor (Rhododendron simsii)
With white flowers and red border, the flower-rich Zimmerazalee sells winter tristesse. In order to preserve the flowers for a long time, the temperatures at the site should not exceed the 18-degree mark.
  • Flowering period: October to February
  • Growth height: 25 to 40 cm
Magique (Rhododendron simsii)
The room-class azalea trumps with bicolored, flamed and filled flowers. Depending on the observer's perspective, the colors change in beautiful red tones. With so much floral splendor, the lack of winter hardiness of these evergreen ornamental shrubs can be overcome.
  • Flowering period: October / November to March / April
  • Growth height: 30 to 40 cm
Tip: The flowers of pot azaleas last longer in the snug, warm living room, when they spend the night in a cool location with 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.

small-pointed azalea - Rhododendron mucronulatum


Rosalea (Rhododendron simsii)
Its lush, white flowers awaken in the middle of winter, the anticipation of the next spring. Rosalea is one of the classic Zimmerazaleen, which reward the increased care during the winter with an overflowing abundance of flowers.
  • Flowering period: September to February / March
  • Growth height: 25 to 50 cm
Conclusion
An azalea in the pot is either deciduous and hardy or evergreen and frost sensitive. If this rule of thumb is known, the decision to make the right arrangements for wintering will not be difficult. A winter-proof garden azalea can stay outside in a pot over 30 cm in diameter in a shady, rain and wind-sheltered location. A sheath made of foil and a foot of wood keep severe frost away from the root ball. A small pot moves with its azalea in a frost-free winter quarters. The room azalea, on the other hand, would like a little more attention during the winter, as it is blooming at this time. After reading these instructions for proper wintering, you are familiar with all the steps needed to maneuver your pot azaleas intact through the cold season.

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