How do you take care of an azalea tree

How to Care for a Beautiful Indoor Azalea Tree

An azalea tree is an azalea flower shrub that’s been trained to grow as a tree! Azalea trees are beloved for their beautiful braided tree trunks and equally beautiful azalea blooms that grow generously and fragrantly. They’re meant to be grown indoors which makes indoor azalea trees perfect for people who want to bring some color and blooms into their home during the winter.

I have a few houseplants in my home and I cherish them ALL but there’s nothing like indoor azalea trees. I truly believe every home should have at least one colorful houseplant.

If you currently don’t have any indoor plants in your house or apartment, take a visit to your local garden center and check out their selection. I bet you won’t be able to resist taking at least one of them home.

Live plants can absolutely be used as home decor. They add life and vibrancy to every room and can even brighten up the darkest of corners. They can also make your home look more cared for and intentional.

A pink indoor azalea tree in a brown pot.

This year, I’ve fallen in love with indoor azalea trees. My mom gave me one as a gift and I’m so glad she did. (I think plants make the perfect gift!).

Now, I consider myself an azalea enthusiast. Indoor azalea trees are so strikingly beautiful that I don’t understand how anyone could not love them. Unless, of course, you’re sensitive to fragrance and hate the color pink.

This tree is indeed fragrant, but not annoyingly so. The blooms let off a soft, pleasing scent. It’s a fragrance I’m happy to have in my home.

You might be familiar with azaleas that are grown outdoors in gardens, but you may not have known that there’s an azalea variety that’s specifically made to be grown indoors. I know I didn’t.

They grow this variety in greenhouses at specific temperatures so that they can thrive inside your home. It’s why you can find them blooming in stores in January, a time when much of the country is covered in snow.

Having access to fresh and fragrant blooms in your house during the Winter is a blessing, especially for those who can’t wait for Spring.

While I love my deep-green pothos plants and my plants that produce long-lasting blooms, like my Peace Lily and Anthurium plants, indoor azalea blooms are simply incomparable.

They stand apart from my other houseplants and pretty much take center stage when they’re in bloom. It’s not their fault – they’re just so pretty!

In fact, I use my azalea tree as the decorative focal point of my dining room because of its bright pink blooms and braided tree trunk. And let me tell you – the braided tree trunk is a sight to see all on its own – it’s a thick braid that leads the eye up to a large cloud of flower blossoms.

Indoor azalea braid tree trunk.

The generous flower clusters actually remind me of cotton candy (yes, I have a sweet tooth…guilty!). 

And their fragrance alone is reason enough for me to welcome azalea trees into my home every year. If you’re a fan of lilacs and peonies, I think you’d definitely be a fan of indoor azalea trees.


There are a few different azalea varieties, so make sure you purchase one that is meant to be grown indoors. Indoor varieties are grown and nurtured in greenhouses, so you’ll find them sold indoors at stores like Trader Joe’s, Costco, and even grocery stores.

You can also, of course, find them at garden centers. An easy way to tell that it’s an indoor azalea is to look at the pot it’s in. Usually, indoor azalea trees are sold in a pot that is covered by foil lining and plastic wrap. It’ll look like it’s meant to be used as a house-warming gift, like something you picked up at the florist. The tag should also specifiy where and how its meant to be grown.

Sunlight Needs for Indoor Azalea Trees

Indoor azalea trees are far more sensitive to light than outdoor varieties, so you’ll need to keep that in mind. They do best in temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Farheinht. In fact, higher temperatures can actually disrupt bloom times.

I will say that azalea trees are not exactly the most low-maintenance plants you can grow,  but the blooms are worth the extra effort it takes to keep them looking their best.

To ensure that your plant gets the sunlight it needs, place the potted tree in an area of your home that gets exposure to indirect sunlight for at least 4 to 6 hours each day.

What do I mean by indirect sunlight? Think of an area of your home that gets bright light but is a few feet away from a window. Placing houseplants right next to windows can result in sunburn and dehydration, so choose your spot wisely.

Always remember that indoor azaleas trees can easily wilt if exposed to too much heat. 

As with other indoor plants, be careful not to repot your azalea tree into a pot that is significantly larger than the one it came in.

This could shock your plant, something you want to avoid. Instead, choose a pot that is no more than 20% bigger than the pot it was purchased in.

When my mom gave me my first azalea tree, it was growing in a plastic pot. I simply transferred it into a pot that was a tad larger and more decorative.

Before transferring your plant, place a bit of potting soil at the bottom of the new pot, then fill in the sides with more soil.

Gently apply pressure to the soil with your palms to make sure that both the soil and the tree is in place. 

How to Water Indoor Azalea Trees

Indoor azalea trees love moisture! This is a plant that you’ll need to water frequently.

Never let the soil dry out, or you’ll end up with wilting blooms that will begin to shrivel up. If you see that the blooms are starting to droop, take it as a sign that your plant is not getting enough water.

Don’t worry, though. You’ll see them perk right back up a few hours after you give it a good soak. Generally speaking, I water my azalea tree every couple of days when it’s in bloom. I just do the simple touch-test.

Before watering, I test the dryness of the soil by touching it with my fingers. If the soil feels moist about an inch deep, I wait another day before watering.

If it feels like it’s going to dry out soon, I’ll grab my watering can and give it a generous drink of water, or I stick it in the sink for a soak.

How to Fertilize Indoor Azalea Trees

Azaleas can benefit from being fertilized but only once the blooms are spent for the year- never add fertilizer while the tree is still blooming. 

In the Spring after the blooms have faded, apply a liquid fertilizer to the pot. Be sure to water the soil first, then add the fertilizer. When I fertilize, I fill a watering can with some water and then mix in the liquid fertilizer and proceed to water the tree as I normally do.

Deadheading Indoor Azalea Trees

Deadheading is an important part of maintaining a beautiful azalea tree. After flowering, you can take your pruning shears and snip off the dead flower blooms so that they don’t make a mess in or around the pot.

Snipping right below the bud is all you need to do. You can also give it a deeper prune to help the overall look of the tree if that’s your wish. 

Fluffy pink flower blooms on an indoor azalea tree

Getting Your Indoor Azalea Tree to Rebloom

Indoor azalea trees don’t rebloom easily the following year after they first bloom, which is why most people just toss them out after the blooms are spent, and then buy a new one the following year.

It’s just like poinsettias – once they’re done blooming, people prefer to toss them out at the end of the season instead of going through the extra effort it takes to encourage rebloom. (If you’re looking for tips though for this festive plant, check out our post on How to Water Poinsettia Plants).

The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re going to keep your azalea is to provide it with the right kind of fertilizer. Remember that when fertilizing any plant, always make sure the soil is moist, first. Fertilizing on dry soil can shock the plants and their root system. 

After fertilizing, make sure to keep your azalea in a warm, sunny spot. Keep in mind that your indoor azalea tree was raised in a greenhouse, so it’s not suited to cold temperatures. 

During the Summer, you can prune back some of the wooden branches that look unsightly. Keep your plant well-watered, just as you did when it was blooming season. 

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How to Care for an Azalea Tree | Home Guides

By Maureen Malone Updated March 23, 2021

There are many azalea (Rhododendron spp. ) species and cultivars with beautiful blooms that add a bright splash of color to your landscape. Azaleas make attractive shrubs for borders, but you can prune and train them into a tree form. Many azalea species and cultivars grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, notes Missouri Botanical Garden. Before selecting an azalea for your landscape, make sure it is hardy in your area.

Azalea Tree Care

Azalea species are an excellent option if you have naturally acidic soil. They prefer a soil pH that is between 4.5 and 6.0. Contact your local cooperative extension office to get a soil test. If your soil pH is too high, you can lower it by adding sulfur to the soil, advises the University of Georgia Extension. The soil should drain well and be rich in organic material. Select a location where the tree will get morning sun with afternoon shade or filtered shade throughout the day.

Add 3 to 5 inches of shredded bark or another organic mulch around the tree each year. This helps to maintain soil moisture and protect the roots from extreme temperatures. Check the soil surface regularly and irrigate when it appears dry. Add about 6 gallons of water to moisten the soil to a depth of about 12 inches.

Most times, fertilizer is not a necessary part of azalea tree care, but if you notice symptoms such as pale green leaves or chlorosis between the leaf veins, you may need to feed your plant. Ideally, get a soil test and add fertilizer as recommended. If you opt not to get a soil test, feed the tree after it flowers. Use a fertilizer designed for azaleas and follow the package instructions for application. Avoid overfertilizing, as it can cause leaf scorch.

Azalea Tree Pruning Requirements

You will need to prune your azalea regularly to maintain its tree form. The best time to prune is after flowering, and this time can vary depending on the species and cultivar. To prune to a tree form, select up to three of the healthiest and strongest vertical branches. Remove all other vertical branches and any horizontal branches that are within about 4 feet of the ground, advises Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.

Maintain the tree shape by regularly cutting back shoots. You will also want to thin growth by removing branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. Be sure to remove dead or damaged branches as well.

Prior to pruning, be sure to disinfect your pruning shears by cleaning the blades with a household disinfectant, such as Lysol, advises University of Florida IFAS Gardening Solutions. This helps to ensure that you don’t spread diseases from other plants to your azaleas.

Azalea Diseases and Problems

Frost can easily damage azaleas, so be sure to select a variety that grows in your climate zone and cover the tree to protect it from unexpected frosts. Symptoms of cold damage include brown leaves, leaf drop, aborted buds and split bark. Split bark usually shows severe damage, and many trees will not survive. They will usually come back from the other injuries, however. If frost damages your tree, prune out dead branches after growth begins again in the spring.

Some fungal diseases in azaleas include Cercospora leaf spot, leaf and flower gall and several types of blight, advises PennState Extension. Leaf spot symptoms include brown spots on the leaves, tan spots with a yellow halo and leaf drop. Gall causes the leaves and flowers to swell and turn pale yellow. They may then turn white and eventually a hard brown.

Symptoms of blight vary depending on the pathogen and may include water-soaked lesions on the petals, brown or black leaves or brown spots on stems. Manage most fungal infections by removing and destroying infected tissue, avoiding overhead irrigation and applying a fungicide to protect healthy plant tissue.

Things You Will Need


  • University of Florida IFAS Gardening Solutions: Disinfecting Your Garden Tools
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder Search Results - Azalea
  • University of Georgia Extension: Selecting and Growing Azaleas
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service: Pruning Shrubs
  • PennState Extension: Azalea and Rhododendron Diseases


  • Azaleas do not need major pruning unless you are trying to shape the plant for aesthetics. If you do remove a lot of branches, pay careful attention to the root system below. It will need an extra layer of mulch to protect the roots. The additional sunlight penetrating the tree's canopy can damage roots if they're exposed.

Writer Bio

Maureen Malone has been a professional writer since 2010 She is located in Tucson, Arizona where she enjoys hiking, horseback riding and martial arts. She is an outdoor lover who spends her weekends tending her raised garden and small orchard of fruit trees.

Caring for indoor potted azalea after purchase at home

Houseplants are always clean and fresh air that everyone loves. Beautiful flowers transform the interior, make it "alive" and presentable. Often, lush shrubs are ordered to decorate an apartment, like a homemade azalea in a pot. An evergreen plant will decorate and diversify the flora, it goes well with other representatives. It will feel comfortable in any room, it is often bought for offices and workspaces.


1. Azalea adaptation after purchase

2. Azalea care

3. Propagation and pruning

4. A few more care tips

Azalea beginners sometimes encounter some difficulties in growing azaleas. Difficulties appear immediately after the purchase, if you create the wrong conditions for adaptation. Despite the unpretentiousness in care, the flower needs to be monitored, watered, fed and transplanted in time. If everything is done correctly, the azalea will feel great and will soon give offspring. Let's talk in more detail about the features of caring for this plant.

Azalea adaptation after purchase

So, you bought a flower and brought it home - it's time to start caring. It must be remembered that the conditions in the store and at home can be very different, so your new pet needs to create a “softer” adaptation and comfortable living conditions. It depends on this stage how well it will take root in your house, apartment or office.

The table shows the care of the plant after purchase:

Conditions Feature
Allow the plant to gradually adapt to the home environment Azalea adapts faster if its contact with the surrounding air is limited. This is easy to do, it is enough not to completely open the store packaging for 2-3 hours.
Create a comfortable temperature After purchase, it is better to heat the room up to +16-18 degrees Celsius, no more. It is desirable to maintain such conditions for several days. After adaptation, small fluctuations in temperature are not very critical.
Illumination Azalea loves light, but diffused. Place the pot next to a window or on a table, but in partial shade. Avoid bright sun, especially in the middle of summer.
Good humidity The flower loves moisture, after unpacking it can be lightly sprayed with a spray bottle. Periodically keep the leaves moist, but do not abuse the room shower.

Observe these conditions and keep an eye on the plant. If the leaves begin to wilt, this indicates a lack of moisture or fertilizer. Often beginners put the pot in the open sun and burns appear on the leaves. Sometimes diseases and pests cause big problems. All these features must be taken into account when adapting.

Azalea care

It is better to place the plant away from the heating radiator, the azalea does not like excessive heat. This rule must be followed even in winter, despite the coolness near the window, the flower will be quite comfortable even at +16 degrees. Usually the batteries are on one side, the planters can be moved to the opposite edge.

Further care of the azalea is quite simple:

  1. Watering - the plant does not like dry soil, but abundant watering will not do him any good. Make sure the soil is moderately moist. If you find that the plant dries out, water it abundantly and wrap it in a plastic bag for 2-3 hours.
  2. Top dressing - use only specialized formulations that are suitable for this flora. Usually, nitrogen fertilizers are applied in summer, and with fluorine and potassium in autumn and winter. This will help make up for the lack of nutrients that the flower needs at different times of the year. The multiplicity of reception for each composition is indicated on the package.
  3. Transplanting - Azaleas should be transplanted immediately after adaptation, so that the new pet can quickly adapt to your home environment. Find a larger pot and carefully transplant the flower without damaging its root system. Carry out further procedures as the plant grows.
  4. Light - Azaleas are best kept in the shade, in diffused sunlight. You should not remove the plant very far from the window, it is enough to leave it on the table, where direct sunlight does not penetrate. In winter, when the sun is scattered, you can put the pot on the southern windowsill.

For easy care, it is better to choose a planter with automatic watering, with which you can maintain an optimal drinking regime. It is enough not to forget and sometimes make water and monitor the condition of the soil.

Propagation and pruning

Pruning ensures a more uniform flower growth, this procedure removes old stems and leaves. It is best done after flowering, which lasts 2 months and falls in the winter. As soon as the buds crumble, you can start work. Take your time and be careful not to cut off the old stems.

The most convenient way to propagate azaleas is by cuttings. To obtain offspring, the cuttings are carefully cut, treated in a stimulating solution and potassium permanganate, and immersed in a new substrate. It is better to cover the pot with a jar and try to maintain a temperature of +20 degrees Celsius. As soon as signs of growth appear, the greenhouse is removed and they try to monitor the quality of the growing conditions.

A few more care tips

Here are some additional tips for caring for the azalea:

  • do not abuse watering, the plant does not like abundant and too rare irrigation;
  • use only purified water that has been passed through a filter and allowed to stand for 2-3 days;
  • if the house is hot, it is better to lower the temperature and in no case wrap the plant in ice or snow;
  • While there is no flowering, spray the leaves twice a day, during the budding period, irrigation should be stopped.

If the plant dropped its buds, this is the “first bell” of improper care. Most often this happens with rare watering, fertilizing or with excess sunlight. In the latter case, sunburn may appear on the leaves. With an abundance of water, the roots often begin to rot, mold is noted, and a fungus may appear. Do not forget to treat an adult plant from pests in time if you find signs of their appearance.

home care, transplantation and propagation, types

A beautifully flowering perennial azalea (Azalea) is a member of the Heather family. This plant is also called indoor rhododendron. Azalea is native to China, Japan and India. The name of the plant is translated as "rose tree".

Indoor azalea looks like a compact low bush, the height of which can vary from 12 to 50 centimeters. It has strong branching. If you form a plant in the form of a standard tree, then its height can exceed half a meter.

The annual growth of this slow-growing crop is several tens of millimeters. The length of elliptical glossy sheet plates of dark green color is about 35 mm.

Spectacular flowers adorn the bush in winter and spring. Terry or simple funnel-shaped flowers in diameter reach from 30 to 70 mm. As a rule, they have a monochromatic saturated color: white, purple, red or pink. There are also varieties of variegated and two-tone color.


  • 1 Brief description of growing
  • 2 Azalia care Transplanting an Azalea
  • 2.9 Flowering
  • 2.10 Dormant Period
  • 3 Propagation Methods
  • 4 Possible Problems
  • 5 Azalea Species
    • 5.1 Azalia Japanese (Azalea Japonica)
    • 5.2 Azalea Indian (Azalea Indica)
  • 6 Useful properties
  • Brief description of cultivation

    9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 Temperature temperature . In summer, from 12 to 18 degrees, and in winter - from 6 to 10 degrees (not warmer than 13 degrees).
  • Humidity . Needs high humidity, daily spraying from a spray bottle is necessary.
  • Illumination . It is necessary to provide a large amount of bright light, but at the same time the bush needs protection from direct sunlight.
  • Watering . The soil mixture in the pot is moistened systematically and plentifully. Drying out must not be allowed.
  • Substrate . Should have high acidity and be light.
  • Fertilizer . Feed in spring and summer 2 times a month. For this, fertilizers for azaleas are used.
  • Transplant . It is held in the spring time once every two or three years.
  • Reproduction of . Top cuttings.
  • Care instructions for . The plant does best when it is cool. Required pruning in the spring.
  • Beautiful flowering houseplant Azalea. How to properly care for an azalea and what to consider.

    Watch this video on YouTube

    Azalea care at home

    Indoor azalea is a rather whimsical and demanding plant. The main difficulty lies in the fact that for normal growth and development, the bush needs coolness. At home, it is quite difficult to provide the plant with the correct temperature regime. If the room is warm, this will lead to the leaves flying around, while the plant will die over time. At the same time, for the work and care, the grower will certainly be rewarded with a spectacular and long flowering.


    Indoor rhododendron is a cold-loving crop. In summer, the flower feels best at a temperature of 12 to 16 degrees. In the autumn-winter period, when buds are laid, the air temperature should not be higher than 8-12 degrees. For a flowering bush, the optimum temperature is about 15 degrees.

    A cool garden is great for keeping azaleas in summer, and a heated balcony in winter.


    This crop requires high air humidity. Therefore, experts advise to moisten the bush from the sprayer every day. To do this, use soft water, the temperature of which is close to room temperature. It is not recommended to spray a flowering bush, because when droplets of moisture get on the petals, spots appear on them, which reduce the decorativeness of the flowers.

    To increase humidity, it is recommended to place the plant pot in a tall tray, which is pre-filled with moist expanded clay, pebbles and/or sphagnum moss.


    The plant needs a lot of bright light, which should be diffused. Best suited for him is a window of western or eastern orientation. If a southern window sill is chosen, then the azaleas will need protection from the direct rays of the sun and frequent moistening from a spray bottle. The bush blooms even if it is placed on the northwestern windowsill.

    In the summer, if possible, indoor rhododendron is taken out into the garden. At the same time, a shady place is chosen for him.


    The plant reacts extremely negatively to the overdrying of an earthen clod in a pot. This leads to a mass flight of leaves. In this regard, it must be watered abundantly and systematically. But at the same time, you need to ensure that water does not stagnate in the substrate, as this can cause rot on the roots or fungal diseases.

    Bottom watering is perfect for the plant. To do this, a high container is filled with water, into which a flower pot is immersed. It is pulled out after 30-40 minutes. During this time, the bush will absorb the amount of moisture it needs.

    Irrigation water is recommended to be mixed once a month with two or three drops of lemon juice.


    An acidic and loose substrate is excellent for this culture (optimal pH 4.0-5.0). You can use store-bought azaleas potting mix. To prepare a substrate with your own hands, combine sand, leafy soil and earth from a coniferous forest, which are taken in equal proportions. At the bottom of the pot you need to make a high-quality drainage layer.


    Top dressing is carried out in the spring and summer 1 time in 15–20 days. To do this, you can use fertilizer for flowering crops without lime or for azaleas. After transplanting, the bush should not be fertilized for two months.


    Pinching of young shoots is carried out in April-July 2 or 3 times. To do this, they should be shortened by 20–30 mm. This stimulates the laying of flower buds on young shoots in the last summer and first autumn weeks. This contributes to more lush flowering. In addition, the azalea should cut out all the extra branches growing inside the bush, as well as those shoots that are very long.

    Azalea repotting

    The culture does not need to be repotted frequently. It should be carried out 1 time in 2 or 3 years, and do it in the spring.

    Indoor rhododendron react extremely negatively to transplantation, and therefore it is carried out very carefully, while trying not to injure the root system. Transplantation is recommended to be carried out by transshipment.

    The capacity for transplanting is chosen not very high. In no case do not deepen the base of the bush.

    Azalea: how to choose, transplant and care for it

    Watch this video on YouTube


    Azalea flowering at home is observed in the winter-spring period. All varieties are divided into 3 groups according to the flowering period:

    1. Early . Flowering begins in January.
    2. Medium . The flowers bloom in the last weeks of winter.
    3. Late . The bush blooms in early spring.

    In order for the bush to bloom more abundantly, it will be necessary to carry out 2 or 3 pinchings in the spring-summer period. This stimulates the growth of young shoots, namely, buds form on them.

    To ensure the correct formation of flower buds, the azalea must be kept in a cool place all autumn (from 10 to 12 degrees). After the bush begins to bloom, it should be moved to a warmer place (about 15 degrees). The bush blooms for two to three months. If the room is excessively warm, this will lead to a reduction in the duration of flowering.

    It is important to remove wilted buds in a timely manner.

    Rest period

    The duration of the rest period is 2 months. It begins after the plant has flowered. During this period, the bush does not need special care.

    Propagation methods

    Most often, in room conditions, azalea is propagated by cuttings. Due to the fact that not all cuttings give roots, experts advise planting several segments at once.

    Semi-lignified shoots are used for harvesting cuttings. The length of the segment should be from 50 to 80 mm. Tear off all the lower leaf plates from the cuttings, and dip the cut point in a root growth stimulant (Kornevin or Heteroauxin). The segments are buried in an acidic soil mixture for adult bushes by 15–20 mm, while it is recommended to mix it with charcoal. Cover the container on top with glass or film, then it is removed on a well-lit windowsill, protected from direct sunlight.

    Provide cuttings with daily ventilation and timely moistening of the substrate after it dries. Segments are regularly moistened with a spray bottle. Best cuts give roots at a temperature of about 20 degrees. Roots appear after 4-8 weeks. A young bush will begin to bloom for the first time in the second or third year.

    Propagation of Azalea from cuttings

    Watch this video on YouTube

    Possible problems

    If home azalea is not cared for properly, then problems such as:

    1. Leaf fly . The plant suffers from a lack of moisture or the air in the room is excessively dry.
    2. Foliage yellowing . The substrate is not acidic enough.
    3. Plant blooms poorly . It feels an acute lack of nutrients, it is not cut in a timely manner, or the room is too warm.
    4. Dry spots on leaf blades . These are sunburns.
    5. Elongated spots of a light shade appear on the foliage . There are leafworm larvae on the bush.
    6. Green buds, no flower development . Moisture stagnation in the soil mixture or the bush stands in a draft.
    7. Bud color chestnut, leaf wilt . Too little watering + the room is very warm.
    8. Pests . Mealybugs, azalea moths, thrips, spider mites, whiteflies and strawberry red mites most often settle on the culture.

    Azalea species

    Only two types of azaleas are cultivated indoors, which will be discussed in more detail below.

    Japanese Azalea (Azalea japonica)

    Such a dwarf plant reaches a height of 0.3 to 0.5 m. The branches are decorated with small leathery leaf plates of a rich green color. Funnel-shaped flowers in diameter reach about 30 mm. They can be dyed white or red.

    Learn more