Azalea


1 entry found.
Azalea
Common Name: Azalea, Rose Bay
Botanical Name: Rhododendron spp. (ro-do-DEN-dron)
Decorative Life: Can easily last 2-4 weeks to many months if not years, depending on environment.
Post Harvest Care:
  • May require an acid fertilizer and/or chelated nutrients to prevent leaf chlorosis (yellowing).
  • Because this species is often grown in nearly 100% sphagnum peat moss, it is often very hard to wet if allowed to dry out. Pots may have to be submerged in water for an hour or so to rehydrate.
Harvest Instructions: Some data indicate that the proper harvest stage is when about eight flowers are open per plant. Plants should be forced into flower without the use of fertilizers for maximum postharvest longevity.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Ericaceae (heath family).
  • Native to mostly temperate regions of North America.
  • Related species include heath, heather, strawberry-tree, manzanita and mountain-laurel.
Personality:
  • Flowers are funnel-shaped, single or double.
  • Stems woody, leaves hairy, oval-shaped.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Red, white, pink, rose, purple, yellow and bicolors.
Storage Specifics: Can be held at least six days at 41F or two days at 60-80F with no reported loss in postharvest longevity. Does well if transported in 7 days or less at 40-50F.
Tidbits:
  • Rhododendron: Greek for rose-tree ("rhodos" means rose and "dendron" means tree).
  • Some azaleas are evergreen while others deciduous, meaning they loose their leaves once per year.
  • They like acid growing conditions. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology lists this species as an allergy-safe pollen producing plant.
  • Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort. Harvest when approximately one-quarter of the flowers are open.
  • Some favorite cultivars and their respective flower colors include 'Prize' (red), 'Gloria' (white and pink), 'Party Favor' (pink), 'Cherish' (dark coral), 'Champagne' (light coral) and 'Irish Lace' (white).
Recent Findings: Barrett (1997) showed that drenching azalea growing media with a wetting agent at the time of sale greatly improved water retention which can be related to improved postharvest performance.