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Care of Azalea

In the office building where I work, we often get a chance to get the plants left over when building management changes the flowers.  This year we got to have the azaleas.  Can you give me and my coworkers some advise on care, how to prune, fertilize, whether or not they should be deadhead. There really isn't that much advice out there for the care of indoor azaleas. So far the blossoms are the only casualties.

Keep the azaleas in a cool bright location.   I find cool temperatures are the key to keeping indoor azaleas healthy.  Try growing them in a sunny window or under artificial lights. Keep the soil moist but not wet.  Use a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer now that the blossoms have dropped.  Repeat anytime the plants look like they need a nutrient boost.  Pale leaves, lack of vigor or poor flowering may mean it is time to fertilize.   You can summer the plants outdoors.  Gradually introduce them to the brighter light outdoors.  Bring them inside (your azaleas may not be winter hardy) before the danger of frost.  Isolate plants and monitor for insects before moving them in with your other indoor plants.


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