Upcycling | What about your Ghent azalea after bloom?

Oh, what a shame! The day comes when those azaleas which have given you weeks of pleasure in bloom shed their flowers. Yet don’t despair! There’s more to this lady than meets the eye! Pimp your plant with a splendid pot, cut it into a mysterious bonsai, or just let them enjoy a holiday on your terrace.

Welcome, new house plant!

Green house plants are most certainly in fashion and, look, you’ve just received another green beauty. With their small leaves and compact look, azaleas make a welcome addition to your collection of Chinese money plants and Monstera.

Give them a new ornamental pot and just for a change let them sag slightly in the pot. See how beautifully the foliage juts out over the edge! Your azaleas will feel most at home in a light shade.

Holiday on your terrace

Who says an azalea is an indoor plant? In the winter they certainly prefer to stay indoors, but from the middle of May onwards, these ladies love a stroll outdoors. Let them out gradually is certainly the message.

In the first week, put your azaleas outdoors in the shade and let them adapt gradually to all those new elements such as wind and rain. Then, move them permanently to a spot with filtered light, such as under a bigger terrace plant, preferably one which also needs a lot of water. In that way you will never forget to water your thirsty azaleas. At the end of September, the outdoor holiday is over and they can reclaim their spot indoors.

Eastern delight!

Have you ever paused to admire a bonsai azalea? Magnificent! In the East they worship such mini-trees as gods. For that matter, it takes years and years to get the perfect model.  

Yet you don’t need to be a specialist to grow your own bonsai tree. The skill lies in pruning the young twigs slightly from time to time and directing them slowly with iron wire into the shape of your dreams. Look also for an attractive flat bonsai tray.

The pictures below are from the following web site: bauwensbonsai.eu/

Let them bloom (again)!

Do you miss the flowers too badly? Cut off the withered tops up to 3cm under the flowers and move your azaleas to a cool and light spot. Keep the soil moist and mix some liquid nourishment in the watering can every two weeks. Use rain water! After a few months of rest, your azaleas gradually come to life, form flower heads, and bloom once again. Yes!  

The azalea just after cutting
The azalea just after cutting
The azalea two months later – a fully fledged green house plant.
The azalea two months later – a fully fledged green house plant.