Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The mystery of the wilting Azalea

A few months ago I could not figure out why my azalea kept wilting on me. All of a sudden it would just be limp, and the whole plant looked close to its death. Not having much experience with azalea's, I didn't understand what was going on. Now that I own a few, and have also seen a friend caring for hers, I have it figured out.

I bought the above pictured azalea a couple weeks ago. I couldn't resist it. I got it covered in buds, and I knew how beautiful my neighbors was while it was in flower. I had one of mine re flower for me but not even close to the amount of flowers this one has. A friend of mine has a bi-colored azalea, and it is so pretty, that I had to get another (it kind of replaced my white one that I froze to death a couple weeks ago)

I think that I like azalea's more than any other flower other than a hoya, of course. I like that they are big showy flowers and they come out in abundance. I like that they have no scent, they never become over powering. I like that there are so many different types and colors, there is so much variety. And now I finally realize they are not too hard to get to re bloom, if you don't freeze them to death first. It was only last week, and I really thought we had seen our last frost. Boy, I was wrong...lol.

Anyways, I went way off topic on the wilting mystery. It was a watering problem. These guys use so much water when they are flowering that they get watered almost every 36 hours (on really hot days, like the past few). As soon as they need water, they start to wilt, and it seems to happen so fast. I wouldn't think it does them any good to wilt (the soil isn't completely dry, but bordering on moist, so I know the roots are not going completely dry), and giving them water seems to perk them back up. Now seeing three different azalea's in flower at the same time, I believe I have it figured out.

I knew they were heavy feeders, so I give them 1/4 strength fertilizer every watering. I did not realize that they used so much water. There is a difference in the pot's weight after 24 hours without water. I have to say that this is the first plant I have noticed that used so much water. Maybe because it so obviously tells you it needs it by wilting so fast. It's kind of a neat phenomenon.

I think these are just so pretty when they flower, I am so glad they are what they are. They capture the whole room's attention almost instantly. I could own a million of these, and still love seeing them flower.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info! i have been cutting off the blooms! imon my third bush! just couldn't figure out what the wilting was about!!