Nowdays botanists use the name Azalea only for the one of subgenus in the genus of Rhododendron. Despite that in the world gardening both names have preserved as separate ones. Rhododendrons are ornamental ericaceous, broad-leaved evergreens. The leaves of this beautiful flower are poisonious. There are about 25 species of deciduous azaleas, type Rhododendron luteum.Evegreen azaleas numerates about 15 species, type RHododendron indicum. Azaleas are a category of smaller-leaved, generally smaller and more `twiggy` shrubs within the Rhododendron family.
The main ansector of Azaleas is believed Rhododendron simsii Planch.It can be everygreen or deciduous,straight,well branched shrub, 1.5-3m high.Leaves are dense lanceolate,elliptical,ovate 2,5-3cm long, fluffy especially under the bottom. Flowers (2-6) rarely 1, almost are sitting in the axil of the leaf. Corolla is funnel - shaped, diameter 3-5cm. Color is pink or dark red. Calyx has length 0,5cm, edge is celeated. The home is China. Grows in mountains as high as 2500-3000m above sea-level. Azaleas is cultivated from 1808.
Azaleas requires coolness and high humidity (70-80%). Fall is a period of puting and groving flower buds. At this time temperature is kept about 6-8 degrees above zero, then 1,5-2 month later temperature growth. The flowers are watered sparingly. From March till September plants are sprinkled with soft water, on hot days -2 times a day,(while
blossoming plants are not sprinkled to avoid appearihg of spots on the flowers. Plants during this period are taken to balconies, loggias, terraces. The best place is a semi-shade place. The plants must be protected from draught and given full complex of fertilizers, one time in 3-3 weeks. replantation is doing after flowering. At the same time the form of crown is made, prunning weak and too thick shoots. The young shoots are shortend, 4-5 leaves are left. Best of all Azaleas grows in eathern saucers so as they have surface rooting system. Light, permiable to water and air acid substratum is the best soil for Azaleas. Propogeting is as a rule made together with cutting in summer (from May till August).
There are some sorts of Azaleas that differ in time of blossoming.
1.EARLY SORTS. The earliest blossom in December-January. "Adventhlockhen" has bell-shaped flowers, not doubled diameter -6cm, red-crimson colour. "Doberly" has doubled flowers of 7,5cm diameter,irregular form dark pink color with white border. "Drezden 1936", its flowers are semi-doubled, glittering, light pink, 6,5cm diameter. "Helmut Fogel" is very early sort.Its flowers are doubled, red-purple,6cm diameter. "Wise Sheme" is a sort of bright doubled flowers.They are funnel-shaped, 6,5cm diameter, white with a tinge of pale pink (creamish) color.
2.MIDDLE-LATE SORTS. These sorts come into flower from June till March. "Albert -Elisabeth" has doudled flowers till 8,5cm diameter, white or whitish-pink with bright red border along the edge of petals. "Apolo" is a sort with slightly doubled or not doubled at all flowers of brownish-red color and diameter of 7cm. The edge is a little wavy. "Leopold Astred" is a sort with doubled flowers of 7cm diameter, delicate shade of pink with bright red border. The edges of flower are slightly crimped. "Max Sheme" has doubled flowers, clearly crimped, 6,5cm diameter, bright pink color with white border at the edges of petals. "Florida" - its flower are not doubled, 5-6cm diameter,red-purple color. "Avener"- flowers are semi-doubled, 7,5 cm diameter, color is bright pinkish-carmine in the folds it is dark carmine.
3.LATE SORTS. They blossom in February- April. "Tselistinum"-flowers are not double-flowering, diameter is 6,5cm, color is intensive-carmine. "Contsinna" is a sort of not doubled flowers, diameter of flowers is 7cm, petals are large funnel-shaped.Color is light-lilac with bright crimson and violet spots. The plant has tall, strong shoots. "Hexe" has doubled flowers, 5,5cm diameter, bright red-wine color. The plant is tall,strong and can be used as a stock for weak growing plants. "Niobe"- flowers are doubled, 7,5cm diameter, white with greenish color, and with red spots on petals. "Professor Wolters"- flowers funnel-shaped, not doubled, 7,5cm diameter, bright-light-pink color with almost white edges. 3 upper petals have crimson-red spots inside.
From group of Azaleas with small flowers for home can be used with success "Azuma Kagamy" (Pink Pearl), "Cattleya","Hinomayo", "Kocho no May", "Addy Wery" (Mrs.Wery), "Adonis".