House Plants/braided azalea trees
Not fully reading the instructions, we mistakenly planted our beautiful new multicolor braided azalea trees outside on the east side of house(morning sun only) but we're in Florida. Burnt the blooms within a few hours. We moved them in the original pots to a shaded area,but they look terrible-leaves are green but blooms are turning browner everyday. What can we do? Are they goners(Ihope not) Will they bloom again, or just lost? I feel like a murderer. Put them in bigger pots, water daily, fertilize, new potting soil with moisture control? Please help!
You are not a murderer! It doesn't take much to screw up a potted Azalea. This variety of Azalea is intended for relatively cool temps - preferably below 75 degrees F. and located in light to moderate shade.
Yours will survive if you move it to a cooler location and keep it shaded. It may do better inside your home in a north or east facing window. The spent flowers and foliage will not recover, so it is best to remove them. Once you get it to a more favorable location, new growth should be healthy and green. Many Azaleas are hybrids bred to produce a flourish of flowers at point-of-sale, but bloom only sporadically thereafter. So it is hard to say if you will get many new flowers.
Never put an ailing plant in a larger pot. In addition, flowering plants will only bloom when potbound. So, new soil is also inappropriate. Likewise, fertilizer (acidic in the case of Azaleas) is not medicine and should never be used for ailing plants. Azaleas do not tolerate dry soil, but they don't want to stay in soggy soil either. Monitor the soil carefully and water thoroughly as soon as the surface soil is barely damp or nearly dry. If it dries out every day, then the temps are too warm or the sun is too intense.
Focus on proper light and temperature for your Azalea. All of the other stuff is extraneous.
I have written an article on Azalea care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC
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