Azaleas are profusely flowering, but capricious plants that have conquered the hearts of flower growers.
Indoor rhododendron pleases with abundant and bright flowering, but only if the agrotechnical methods of cultivation are observed.
And one of these conditions is high-quality soil for azaleas, it does not matter whether it is purchased or prepared by hand.
- Azalea soil: composition
- Which is better: buy soil for azaleas or prepare yourself
- How to make soil for azaleas with your own hands
- Planting recommendations
- Mistakes that are usually made when preparing the substrate, how to correct them
- How can you acidify the soil for azaleas
Azalea soil: composition
The substrate for the azalea must be specific in composition, since its main task is to support the life of microorganisms-symbionts living in the roots of the plant.
Microorganisms help the plant to extract all the necessary trace elements from the soil. If you succeed in killing the symbionts, the azalea will soon dry up too. For good growth and abundant flowering, the plant requires an acidic environment, with a pH reaction of 3.5 to 5.5.
The recommended soil composition should include:
- River sand
- Coniferous land
- Mineral supplements
Attention! Indoor rhododendron is picky about the soil, so you should not buy soil intended for growing other, unpretentious plants.
However, the azalea formulation is suitable for growing other flowers that like an acidic environment.
Gerberas, philodendrons, heathers, cranberries, pelargoniums feel great in the soil for azaleas.
We offer you to watch a video about what should be the soil for the azalea:
Which is better: buy soil for azaleas or prepare yourself
For a novice gardener, it is recommended to plant an azalea in a ready-made substrate, although it grows equally well, both in the store and in the one prepared with your own hands.
On sale you can find various ready-made soil mixtures, which differ from each other by manufacturers, product quality and price.
It is important to know! When buying a primer, you need to pay attention to the label and see the release date. If the potting soil went on sale long ago, it means that it has already lost most of its nutrients.
How to make soil for azaleas with your own hands
To prepare the composition on your own, you will have to look for the necessary components and mix them in the required proportions.
A special soil for azaleas should include the main components: peat, leaf, heather and sand. Coniferous land is an obligatory component.
Pine bark is used as a necessary component. It acts as an additional oxidizing agent.
To improve moisture and air permeability, it is recommended to add river sand, agroperlite and vermiculite.
You need to disinfect the soil with sphagnum moss, or you can add charcoal. It is advisable to use only one component.
Azalea does not like waterlogging of the soil, so it is recommended to put a drainage layer 3 cm high on the bottom of the pot.
Do-it-yourself composition, proportions:
- Heather soil
- Coniferous land
- Horse peat
- Leaf land
- Low peat
The ratio of the components is as follows: 1: 2: 1: 1: 2: 1.
The structure of the soil should be loose, light, air and moisture permeable, however, retaining moisture. To keep water in the soil longer, it is recommended to add hydrogel in granules.
The modern method is an alternative to drip irrigation. After watering, the hydrogel swells, absorbs excess moisture, and then gradually gives it to the plant.
Many gardeners advise adding sawdust, needles of conifers, leaf humus, pine bark to the soil. These components maintain the acidity level in the soil.
To enjoy the lush and abundant flowering of the azalea, it is important to follow some recommendations:
- Indoor rhododendron prefers bright, but diffused light. Do not allow direct sunlight to fall on the foliage. It is preferable to grow on windowsills from the north or west side.
- Content temperature. It is important to consider that the room should be cool at any time of the year. The kidneys are laid at a temperature between + 16-18 ° C, so this mode is considered optimal.
- Watering. Regular watering with soft, settled water is required. Do not pour warm water, better with cool water. When the earthy coma dries out, it is recommended to lower the plant pot into a container of water to moisten the earth.
- Air humidity. A moisture-loving plant needs daily foliar spraying. But! During flowering, the azalea should not be sprayed.
Young specimens are transplanted every year (more likely it will be a transshipment), an adult plant needs to be transplanted no more than once every 3 years. When transplanting or transferring a plant, you need to be careful with the root system, as it is very delicate and fragile. If the roots are damaged, the flower can be ruined.
When transplanting, it is important to monitor the root collar, which must be left on the surface of the soil.
Note! The period for laying flower buds falls on October-November, therefore it is necessary to organize additional lighting.
Let's watch a useful video about planting an azalea:
Errors that are usually made when preparing the soil, how to fix them
Many growers make a lot of mistakes when compiling soil at home.
Excessively heavy soil. In such soil, the plant simply cannot survive, since the root system will not be able to absorb trace elements and vitamins. If it is noticed that the azalea is not growing, transplantation into loose, breathable soil is required.
The soil has a weak acidity. At low pH levels, the life of symbiont microorganisms is impossible, and thanks to them, the plant receives all the necessary nutrients.
There is only one way out to add pine bark, needles of conifers, leaf humus to the soil as soon as possible.
High peat content. An excess of low-lying peat will lead to the structure of the soil being heavy and moisture-consuming. When water stagnates in the soil, the root system will rot. It is recommended to transfer the plant to good soil.
If the soil is selected correctly, then there is no doubt that the plant will be fragrant and delight with flowering. Indeed, in a suitable soil in the plant itself, the necessary metabolic processes will take place, azaleas will have enough nutrition and moisture. If the soil is not properly selected, the azalea will not grow.
How can you acidify the soil for azaleas
As mentioned above, an acidic environment is required by microorganisms that support the vital processes in the plant. An alkaline environment is detrimental to both symbionts and azaleas.
The composition should contain coniferous earth, since it is a natural acidifier. When buying a mixture for azaleas, it is important to pay attention to this particular component.
You can increase the acidity by adding pine bark to the substrate. Before use, it must be rinsed, dried and crushed. Only then can the bark be mixed into the soil.
If it is not possible to purchase pine bark, it is recommended to go to the store and ask a specialist to choose a special acidifier that is used to increase the acidity of the soil. Use only as directed.
So that the flower after acquisition does not lose its attractiveness, it is necessary to transplant the azalea into properly prepared soil, since good soil is the guarantee of a long life of indoor rhododendron.