Azalea ultimate guide
Azaleas are bright and beautiful two-lipped, funnel-shaped fragrant flowers. A key distinction between these flowers and others in the Rhododendron species is their five projecting stamens to the rest’s ten. Their most common colour is pink, but you can get them in orange and white. Through years of hybridisation, there are close to 10,000 varieties of the plant. Let us look at some common ones.
Types of Azalea flowers
White evergreen Azalea flowers
The blossoms are large and have rounded white flowers with light green foliage. Their shrubbery grows close to the ground and thrives well.
Pink Azalea flowers
This fragrant variety can withstand freezing climates and is loved by birds and flying insects. Its shrubbery produces a thick mass of flowers.
Orchid lights Azalea flowers
This variety presents a mix of lavender and pink flowers with trumpet-shaped blossoms and fuchsia tips. Its beauty, elegant presentation, and resilience in extreme weather make it one of the most popular flower varieties.
Lemon lights Azalea flowers
Its bright yellow petals are narrow and open. The petals drop during winter but quickly grow once the extreme weather subsides
Fireball hardy Azalea flowers
This fast-growing variety has reddish-orange blossoms and ripped petals. Its shrubbery is compact and needs little pruning attention to grow well
Hot shot Girard Azalea flowers
This variety has bright and fiery red and orange petals that maintain their vibrancy all year. It is a perfect hedge consideration as the foliage is evergreen, and shrubs grow two to three feet tall and spread out evenly
The meaning and symbolism of Azalea flowers
There’s a famous Chinese story about an emperor who enjoyed victorious glory in war and received high praises but was lonely despite the adulation. One day, someone gave him some Azalea flowers, and he immediately fell in love with their beauty. He planted the shrubbery in his garden, and his heart was content. This is how Azalea flowers became associated with passion, luck, love, and happiness. Here are more meanings of the flower:
Personal and people care
Some cultures believe the flower symbolises taking care of yourself and those around you. Therefore, it forms a perfect gift when you need to wish someone a quick recovery. Additionally, sharing it with a loved one is an ideal way to communicate your affections.
Azalea flowers are the perfect gift for a modest and kind person, effectively communicating their personality. Expect them to appreciate and care for the flowers.
Affluence and elegance
The rich beauty of Azalea flowers blends well with a homestead looking to convey affluence and elegance. Such beauty and resilience in a garden won’t go unnoticed by visitors.
The vibrancy of Azalea flower colours conveys this emotion well. Therefore, gifting a lover a flower bouquet with Azaleas is ideal.
Azalea flowers also signify abundance; anyone who wishes to attain abundance in their life will appreciate them as a bouquet or for planting in their garden.
The Chinese and Japanese gift their parents this flower to inform them they miss home. Typically, a person gifting their parents these flowers indicates they will soon visit.
Each Azalea flower colour also bears a significant meaning:
The yellow of the lemon lights Azalea flowers symbolises friendship. It also symbolises happiness and positive energy.
Red Azaleas convey romantic passion and are perfect gifts among lovers.
Dark pink ones are also romantically aligned and serve as a break from the usual red flower gifts.
Purple Azalea flowers, as the colour suggests, signify royalty and nobility. Therefore, they are the best gift for someone with authority who has positively impacted your life.
How to water Azalea flowers
Azalea flowers thrive in moderate water conditions. As such, you need to check the soil often and only water it when it gets too dry. Excess water is detrimental to the flower’s growth and overall health.
Typically, indoor Azalea flowers need more watering attention since they lose water faster. Water loss is essential for humidifying your house, but too much could dehydrate the flowers. Therefore, aim to water them at least twice a week, being careful not to overdo them. Those using a water wick watering system need to check whether the reservoir needs topping up every three or four days.
Outdoor or garden Azalea flowers don’t need watering, mainly if your area receives regular rainfall. You only need to irrigate them should you face long, dry spells.
Remember to avoid overwatering the flowers since they prefer not to remain submerged in water for too long. However, you can dip them for not more than 30 minutes in case you leave them too dry for too long to revive them.
When watering, pour the water directly onto the top of the soil. An irrigation can is ideal, as it will ensure even spreading of the water on the soil. Additionally, pouring the water directly on the soil avoids destroying the flower petal had you poured the water on them. Some varieties have elegant but fragile petals that can’t withstand that water pressure.
Azalea plant care tips
Azalea flowers are easy to care for due to their resilience. However, this does not mean you can neglect them. You only need to approach them with some sense and practicality. Here are some Azalea plant care tips:
Keep them in a location with moderate to high humidity, typically around 46% relative humidity. Should you need to humidify the room, use a cool mist humidifier. Also, avoid misting the flowers directly, giving fungi a chance to grow.
In terms of light, it depends on your chosen Azalea variety. While they all require light, some thrive better in the shade, while others prefer direct sunlight. Therefore, find out more about your specific type. As a precaution, provide the flowers some sunshine time in the morning, but keep them in the shade in the afternoon when the sun is intense.
Spring and early summer are the perfect times to prune Azalea flowers when they have blossomed, and there are several discoloured and shrivelled flowers. Avoid pruning in late summer, autumn, or winter, as you may cut the flower buds, thus preventing them from blossoming.
Keep cut Azalea flowers in a vase in a cool section of the room to prolong their vibrancy. You only need to add water to the vase and change that water daily to extend the life of the cut flowers. Ensure you cut long stems so you can trim the submerged sections off after a few days, thus keeping your flower vase looking amazing.
Find out whether your Azaleas are evergreen or deciduous, so you’re not surprised when they shade during autumn. Fortunately, deciduous Azaleas tend to blossom quickly once the seasons are over.
You can use fertilizer and mulch on the flowers once the blooms fade in spring. Use a controlled-release, acid-forming fertilizer. Additionally, avoid mulching in autumn as the mulch retains heat that delays the onset of dormancy. You don’t want the flowers to suffer winter damage.
Azalea flowers require an exact amount of water. Too much or too little is detrimental. Typically, watering these flowers twice a week is ideal. Keep in mind that indoor Azalea flowers humidify the air considerably, releasing 35cl and 50cl of water each week. Therefore, you need to replenish the lost amounts. A good strategy is to keep the soil consistently moist. Avoid overwatering it by feeling the soil with your fingers. If it is too wet, you need to cut back on the watering. Alternatively, use the water wick watering system for consistency.
Indoor Azalea flowers don’t need additional fertilization as they are picked enough during the germinating phase outside. However, should you decide to use fertilizers, go for those that contain a low N-P-K ratio of 3:2:1.
You need to remove dead flowers from the plant as soon as possible. You only need to use your hands to remove the dead flowers by turning them, no specialised equipment. Once you’re done, place the potted plant in a cool part of the room and continue your watering routine as usual.
Azalea flowers need the sun, but not too much. Ideally, you need to place the potted plants in the morning sun and put them in the shade in the afternoon. If you have Azaleas in your garden, you need to limit exposure to the sun to six hours max.
Azalea flowers are bright, beautiful, resilient, and symbolise so much good that it’s a blessing to have them in your house and garden. This guide shares more information about this elegant flower and tips on caring for them.