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The azalea is a beautiful plant to keep in any home, but they require a strict care routine to remain healthy. One of the biggest problems facing azalea owners is a correct watering schedule. When an Azalea begins to droop or turn brown, it’s usually a water problem, they are particular with their watering needs, and it’s the first thing you need to look out for when the plant begins to wilt.
But it’s not the only reason your azalea might be suffering. When they begin to wither, they run the risk of dying, and although it does happen from time to time, no one wants to say goodbye to a beloved houseplant. So here is a quick guide on how to revive your Azalea plant.
Reviving the Azalea
1. Submerge it in water (dried out)
When your azalea is drooping, it is most likely drying out, and you’ll have to get it into the water. Check the potting soil; if it’s dry, try the following method to save your plant.
Take the pot and submerge it into room-temperature water. If you’re in a hard-water area, be sure to use rainwater, as the azalea prefers high acidic water, and rainwater is ideal. If at all possible, try using rainwater with all of your plants; it is far better than regular tap water.
Once you have submerged the pot, leave it in the water until the air bubbles stop, then remove the plant and let it drain completely – never let an azalea stand in water for too long, root rot can easily set in, and your plant can drown and die.
Water it two to three times a week to keep up its strength; it should begin to recover relatively quickly.
2. Remove the rotten roots (overwatered)
Check the soil first; if the soil is dry, submerge it; if not, then check the soil and sunlight. If the soil is moist and the sunlight and soil check out, you have overwatered. Instead, remove the plant, and check the root system – they should be pale and springy.
If the root system has any damage (brown and mush), remove the rotten roots and let the plant dry on a paper towel in a dark place (like the basement). After a day or so, replant the azalea into the new soil. Keep an eye on the plant for a few weeks to make sure it doesn’t go into shock and water it only once a week until it recovers.
A great tip is to use ceramic pots. Although plastic pots are cheaper, they aren’t as effective in keeping your plants healthy. They also run a far greater risk of forming mold and don’t allow water to condensate correctly. Plastic might be cheap at the start, but it might cost you a lot in the long run.
3. Adjust the humidity and temperature
Another reason for wilting is insufficient humidity. Humidity is essential for an azalea. To make sure it has enough humidity in the room, you can put your pot on top of a plate of wet pebbles. Also, be sure to keep your azalea in a room with a cool breeze. Hot and dry do not sit well with the azalea. Try not to give it too much sunlight and aim 10 – 15 degrees Celsius for optimum plant growth. Too much heat and the plant will begin to wilt and die – essentially drying out too fast.
Water is essential to the azalea, and by keeping its room at the correct temperatures and humidity, it will survive for a very long time.
4. Fish emulsion – soil
If the plant is close to dying, try doing a fish emulsion. Just get a good compost and spread it over the root system, then using mulch, keep the root system moist and cool. This method can revitalize the plant in no time. But if the plant has been in a drought for too long, it might not recover, so gently remove the dead leaves, keep the plant in the compost and make sure it stays moist. This is the best way to try and save your plant.
Caring for the Azalea
Prevention is better than cure! To prevent your plant from drying, you need to make sure your care is up to par. To do that, you need to know what your azalea needs.
Moisture is an essential part of keeping your azalea happy, so you’re going to want to put it in a spot where it can contain moisture but still get enough sun. Depending on the climate, you’re going to be water it once-twice a week, or a couple of times every month. Although the moisture is essential, and azalea does not want its feet wet, like most plants, it can quickly pick up root rot diseases or even outright drown.
Although it needs moisture, sunlight is also vital. Keep your azalea in a spot where it gets morning sun but falls into the shade by afternoon. Too much sun and it will quickly burn, too little and it will begin to wilt. The biggest problem with a plant that likes to be moist is the danger of having mold setting in. Sunlight is essential to ensure the azalea does not develop mold on its roots and leaves. You’re going to have to find that perfect spot for the azalea in your garden or home.
They love their acidic soil! They have relatively shallow roots, so be sure to plant them in well-draining soil as well. If your area has poor draining soil, instead use a pot or raised beds. If you can’t test the soil, try using a balanced fertilizer with even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Also, when watering, be sure to check that the water has an acid count. Otherwise, you’re going to run into trouble soon.
Although it’s not always necessary to prune the azalea, they will sometimes need to be trimmed for one reason or another. Trimming and pruning are very healthy for your plants, although, much like all good things, they should be done in small quantities.
- Wait until all the flowers die off before pruning, usually around early spring
- Only cut off the dead branches; your plant will bloom again in summer
- Don’t cut off too much! If you hack away, you can seriously damage your plant’s chances of survival.
Only prune when necessary, the azalea is a low-maintenance plant, so it really shouldn’t be such a hassle.
The azalea is a beautiful little plant to keep indoors or out. Although it has low maintenance, it does require some specific care needed to ensure it can survive. As with all plants, check what their needs are, make sure you meet them every week, and your little azalea will never see a day of distress in its life. But if it does, you can try and revive it again.