Azalea plants rank high in the list of the most popular plants grown in Australia. Azalea varieties differ in size. You can grow azaleas in pots. The smaller shrub-like varieties thrive very well in garden pots while the larger variety in gardens that can grow more than two meters tall is hard enough to survive the most challenging weather conditions it is exposed to. What contribute most to this plant’s charm are its flowers of many various sizes, petal shapes and colors.
Azaleas, in previous generations have been growing in naturally acidic leaf-laden forest floor. They grow happiest in slightly acidic soil and are difficult to cultivate in alkaline soil areas. For proper azalea care in soil leaning towards the alkaline, it has to be mixed with acidifying agents. An acidifying tonic, moistened peat moss or cow manure can do the trick. Growing azalea in garden pots is ideal because this way, one can have more control over the conditions. For the roots to not dry out completely, place some old leaves – make it 10-centimetres thick – or any type of organic mulch (e.g. sawdust, compost). Use a slow-release fertiliser to feed your plant with a few times annually. Azalea plants can still grow when exposed to full sun. However, you will have a plant with shorter stems and shorter flowering cycles.
Aside from keeping the azalea plants in your garden pots in good shape, pruning is really not always necessary. The best time to prune azaleas is right after flowering ends. Cut the stems any way you like it to be pruned. They grow new shoots almost anywhere in the stem so there is no need to worry.
Pests and Diseases
The azaleas in your garden pots may not be as tough as other plants when it comes to pests and diseases. The most common azalea diseases are the petal blight (a fungal disease that ruins the flowers) and the lace bugs. There are however new and effective pest and disease control products that are conveniently available in physical and online stores.