A cool, partially shaded position is desirable, but in deep shade flower buds may not form. In the 1-2 years it takes to prepare your soil, you can enjoy the blooms as the azaleas grow … Repotting can then be done if necessary, increasing the pot size by no more than 2.5-5cm (1-2in) in diameter. Prune your azalea immediately after flowering if the plant looks straggly, or if a trim is needed to maintain the desired size and shape. Growing azalea in pots is a simple matter of providing the proper sun, soil, and water conditions. Try taking batches at 2-3 week intervals from early July until mid-September. Good Azalea Care: Azaleas, Noteworthy Shrubs For Any Garden, Winter Protection For Azaleas: Caring For Azalea Shrubs In Winter, Care Of Indoor Azaleas: Tips For Growing An Azalea Houseplant, Mibuna Mustard Greens: How To Grow Mibuna Greens, Grateful Gardening: How To Show Garden Gratitude, Indoor Winter Savory Care: How To Care For Winter Savory Inside, Uses For Ramps: How To Grow Wild Leek Ramps In The Garden, Magnetism And Plant Growth – How Do Magnets Help Plants Grow, Ornamental Garlic Plants – Why My Garlic Is Flowering, Oakleaf Hydrangea Info: How To Care For An Oakleaf Hydrangea, Thanksgiving Tradition: Turning Homegrown Pumpkins Into Pie, Growing Thanksgiving Dinner – Must Have Turkey Side Dishes, Interesting Uses For Pecans: What To Do With Pecans, The Bountiful Garden: Bringing The Garden To Thanksgiving. Commercially, plants are brought into flower early by forcing in warm, humid conditions, with temperatures approximately 18-21ºC (65-70ºF) for six to eight weeks. Therefore, plants grown by the amateur gardener will be later to bloom. As with all evergreen shrubs, each year a proportion of the foliage (mainly older leaves) is shed in spring and summer. Don’t wait too long to prune, as pruning close to blooming time will reduce the number of flowers. Water deeply immediately after planting, then cover the top of the soil with a thin layer of mulch to keep the roots cool and moist. The many cultivars of Rhododendron simsii (often called Rhododendron indicum) are popular pot plants which are brought on, or ‘forced’, in warm, humid conditions for sale at Christmas. In the meantime, use containers and acidic potting soil to grow azaleas. However, they can be kept and grown on as pot plants for flowering in future years. Softwood cuttings: Commercial propagation is by means of softwood cuttings taken in early spring and rooted under mist propagation. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Feed the plants every month between spring and late summer, using a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants. Azalea like soil that is slightly acidic, well drained, and rich in organic matter. Do not mist after the buds show colour. Apply at half the recommended rate for pot plants on two or three occasions up until the end of June. This is one advantage of growing azalea in planters, as you can easily control the quality of the growing medium. Keep notes to refer to in future years on the best method for your growing conditions. They are usually growing in a pine needle, peat and leafmould medium, but a suitable alternative medium can be made from equal parts leafmould, peat substitute such as composted bark, and lime-free sharp sand. Azaleas are ericaceous plants, which means they thrive in acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. Alternatively, try inserting four or five cuttings in a small pot covered with a polythene bag. Plants will deteriorate if they suffer long periods in hot, dry conditions. Hopefully, it’ll help make your holiday season as special as possible. If plunging in soil, place some coarse, gritty material at the base to discourage worms from entering the pot through drainage holes. Cuttings need a good level of warmth at the base to root successfully. Look for a potting soil mixed specifically for acid-loving plants, or create your own by mixing half potting soil and half fine pine bark. The amateur gardener is more likely to be successful  if using a small electric propagator with bottom heat. Acidic, partially decayed pine needles can be included if available; the essential point is that no alkaline materials should be used. For plants kept indoors, continue to house the plant in a cool, humid room until after the risk of frosts has passed in your area. Alternatively, use a slow-release fertilizer a couple of times during the season. Water-in using rainwater. https://plantaddicts.com/blog/4-tips-for-growing-azaleas-in-pots A point to remember is that they will need to be grown on in a greenhouse if they are to bloom as profusely as when initially purchased. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, Our Garden Centres and online shops are packed with unique and thoughtful gifts and decorations to make your Christmas sparkle, General enquiries Yellowing of leaves: This can occur where the growing medium has poor texture and remains sodden for a considerable time after watering. Large containers placed in a shady area will provide a nice habitat for the azaleas until they can be planted in the ground.