Indoor Azalea Care: How To Grow Azaleas Indoors

Florists’ azaleas or Rhododendron (Azalea) “Chimes” are small plants that grow 5” to 8” inches tall and offer beautifully lush blooms in colors like pink, lavender, red, white, and peach. 

Azaleas as outdoor shrubs are popular throughout the southern United States but are a favorite indoor house plant commonly sold in small pots by florists throughout the year.

Indoor Azalea CarePin

First grown in countries like Japan and China, azaleas became popular in the United States because of their easy care, and they’ve become the unofficial flower of the American South.

Quick Facts On Indoor Azalea

  • Family: Rhododendron
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Temperature: 60° to 68° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Frequent watering while in bloom
  • Fertilizer: Feed from March to August
  • Propagation: Stem tip cuttings in August
  • Common Problems: Aphids, whiteflies, root rot

Indoor Azalea Care

Caring for indoor azaleas is as easy as placing them near a bright window, so they receive lots of indirect sunlight and water them frequently when they bloom.

Their soil should never dry out completely while they have flowers.

Indoor azaleas don’t require much fertilizer but should occasionally receive feedings from March through August. 

How Big Do Rhododendron Azalea Plants Grow?

Some types of azaleas reach an astounding 20′ feet, but indoor azaleas are a much smaller plant.

They usually grow no taller than about 2′ feet. Flower shops and florists typically sell them in tiny pots where they’ll measure between 5″ and 8″ inches tall.

When Does an Azalea Flower Indoors? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

One of the reasons people select azaleas for their indoor plants is the profuse number of blooms they’re capable of.

As a result, they have a very light fragrance despite their large flowers. 

Azaleas will bloom for 3 to 4 weeks when they’re first purchased, but caring for them properly can result in repeated blooming cycles throughout the year.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Indoor azaleas fare best in a bright window that receives lots of natural light. They don’t cope well with a lot of direct sunlight.

Azaleas grow at the bottom of a canopy in the wild, so they rarely receive direct sun. However, they can receive a little morning sun and still fare well.

How And When To Water and Fertilize Indoor Azaleas?

When in bloom, indoor azaleas should receive frequent watering so the soil never completely dries out.

However, they should never receive so much water that their soil is left saturated or in standing water.

Watering them 2 or 3 times a week will suffice, but small pots may need daily watering, particularly in dry climates.

What Is The Best Soil For Indoor Potted Azaleas And When Should You Transplant?

An indoor azalea purchased from a florist will enjoy its small pot for many months.

However, you may want to repot or transplant the azalea to help it grow to a larger size. 

The best time to repot azaleas is in May or June. They respond well to moist peat moss and a clay pot.

Do Azaleas Indoors Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

An indoor Azalea should grow beautifully if you place it in a bright window and hit the sweet spot for watering and moistness.

You shouldn’t have to perform any special grooming if you don’t neglect your indoor azalea.

However, if you notice that the azalea has started losing leaves or its leaves have begun to turn yellow, you might need to change its care.

For example, an Azalea that loses its leaves might need more water, or the temperature might be too hot or cold. 

Yellow leaves, on the other hand, mean that you should change the soil’s acidity by adding some sulfate of ammonia for fertilization.

How To Propagate Azaleas That Grow Indoors?

Propagating an Azalea is best done in August when you can take a tip stem cutting and put it in a new pot. 

Place a plastic bag over the pot for about a month to keep the cutting warm.

You’ll have the best success with Azalea propagation when you take a cutting from a thick, healthy parent plant.

Indoor Azalea Pests And Diseases

Rhododendron Chimes aren’t particularly prone to bugs and diseases, but it’s essential to watch out for common pests like:

  • Whiteflies
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs

One of the more prevalent issues azalea owners face is root rot or mildew, and the plants may also develop diseases like powdery mildew or leaf-spot disease. 

Inspecting azaleas regularly to maintain their health and treat issues promptly to avoid plant death is crucial.

In addition, some pruning may be necessary for advanced infections or infestations.

Is The Azalea Growing Indoors Considered Toxic or Poisonous To People, Kids, Or Pets?

Azaleas are a poisonous plant for humans and animals, so it’s vital that no one-human or animal–tries to nibble on the leaves or flowers.

Humans who eat azaleas may suffer from a disorder known as “mad honey disease,” with symptoms like:

  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Dangerously low heart rate

The family pet shouldn’t eat azaleas, but cats and dogs aren’t generally attracted to the plants, so the risk is usually low.

However, it’s best to keep the plants out of reach of curious dogs and cats.

Suggested Uses For Indoor Florists’ Azaleas

When placed near a bright window with indirect light, indoor Azaleas are a straightforward plant to grow.

They’re a common gift in the fall and winter, but many people discard them after they stop blooming. 

In fact, Azaleas can live for years with regular care and can repeatedly bloom throughout the year.

The average lifespan of an Azalea grown as a houseplant is an astounding 50 years, so the gift of a Florists’ Azalea can last as long as a lifelong friendship.