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Apartment Living and a Tree Form Azalea

Ask the Expert: My husband bought me an azalea plant that looks like a tree.So anyways it has lost all the flowers and leafs.I live an an apartment and have no were to plant it.I just wanted to know why it has lost all flowers and leafs.I keep it moist and in a great place ? Can you please help me.He paid lots of money for it and I love it.
Thank you Denise.

Is this normal,and will it come back.I still water it.

Comments

  1. Denise,

    Azalea really prefer a humus rich shrub bed. However, Azaleas that are Indica hybrids have been grown as houseplants. I am not sure what type you have, but I would imagine if it came from a florist it is a Indica.

    At this point we need to determine if your Azalea is still viable. Break a small branch off or scratch the stem; if you see some green the Azalea has a chance to recover. However, your Azalea is in stress. There are a few things you can do to remove the stress. First if the Azalea came with a pretty foil covering the pot remove it. the foil will not allow the plant to drain properly. Which brings me to drainage, does the pot have drainage holes? If not your will need to re-pot it into a container that have proper drainage holes. Secondly, if the soil is moist don’t water. Over or under watering can cause problems for any plant but especially Azaleas. Only water the Azalea when the soil is towards the dry side. A simple way to determine this is to stick your finger in the soil down to your first knuckle. Pull a small amount of soil out. Roll the soil into a ball, if you can squeeze water out of it – it is too wet. If you can not form a ball – it is too dry. A nice moist ball is what you want. If unsure purchase a watering meter and it will help you decide.

    You are probably wondering why the Azalea became stressed in the first place. There are many factors that can cause stress. Move it from one location to another is a prime cause for stress. Over watering or under watering before you received the Azalea is another. Extreme temperature changes are still another reason. Try to keep your Azalea out of the pathway of air vents. The Azalea can recover from all of theses causes, if you provide the right environment. Light, water and fertilizer are important. Don’t worry about fertilizing until the plant has put on new leaves. Do make sure that you keep the plant moist but not soggy and in very bright indirect light.

    Good Luck.

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