If you’re looking for a houseplant with beautiful blooms in abundance to brighten up your home over the festive period, then this month’s Houseplant of the Month, the azalea, is the perfect choice.
Did you know that there are two different types available as pot plants? The most popular one is the Indian Azalea, which is known as Rhododendron simsii. You’ll find it available in several colours including pink, white, red and purple.
Also look out for the bi-coloured varieties, and the single-flowered and double-flowered cultivars. Sometimes, these spectacular houseplants can produce so many flowers that you can hardly see their foliage!
The other type is the Japanese Azalea, often referred to as Rhododendron obtusum. Its flowers are smaller than the Indian Azalea, and you’ll find single-flowered and spider-flowered plants.
When buying your azalea, choose a plant with plenty of buds that are just colouring and a few open flowers. Keep it in bright light, but avoid direct sunlight. And it’s best to place it in a cool spot when it’s in bloom. Remember also to remove any faded flowers as soon as they wilt.
Moisture is vital for the health of azaleas. So water your plant regularly and occasionally submerge the whole pot completely in a sink or bucket of water until bubbles have stopped rising from the soil. Then, allow any excess water to drain away.
As well as adding a pop of welcome colour to your home this month, azaleas are the ideal gift if you’re visiting relatives or friends during the Christmas and New Year period. So, why not pop into your local florist soon and check out their houseplant selection?
* This post is brought to you in collaboration with The Flower Council of Holland. All the words are my own.
(Images : The Flower Council of Holland)