Gardening Articles

Azaleas How To Cultivate Them

Comparatively few of these charming plants are to be seen outside of green-houses and private conservatories, we know not for what reasons, unless it be the erroneous idea that they cannot be successfully grown unless one has the facilities of the florist. I

think there is no class of plants more easy of culture, when the manner of treating them is once understood, than Azaleas. As they are decidedly winter-flowering plants, generally coming into bloom from December to March and April, they must be treated as such. They should have the same kind of treatment during the summer as recommended for Camellias, allowing them to rest in some cool, shady spot out-of-doors, during which period the flowering shoots will grow that are to give the bloom through the winter months. They can be taken into the house any time in the fall before freezing weather, and they will thrive well in an atmosphere suited to the generality of plants, although to bring the bloom out to the best, an atmosphere of 55 deg. is needed. There are over one hundred distinct varieties, ranging from pure white to lilac-purple, scarlet and pink, and when in full bloom the entire plant might be easily mistaken for a large bouquet, so literally covered is it with dazzling blossoms. One or two varieties of Azaleas should grace every collection; almost every florist keeps them in stock, and the price asked is but a small consideration compared with the amount of pleasure one will derive by having them in full bloom himself. Florists hardly ever attempt to multiply the Azaleas from cuttings, on account of the hardness of the wood, but the common mode of multiplying them is by grafting on the stock of the Wild Azalea, plants being easily and quickly obtained through this method. The Azalea will flourish best with a rich, mucky loam, a rather shady locality, and an abundance of water.

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