These are one of the best winter-flowering houseplants and can, with care provide a mass of colour throughout the holiday season with their red, pink or white blooms.
They require a temperature of 10-15°C/50-60°F ideally, avoid hot airless situations i.e. those near to a radiator. Choose a brightly lit spot, away from direct sunlight.
Keep the compost PERMANENTLY WET, preferably by plunging the pot in a bucket of water for 5 minutes and then allowing any excess water to drain away. Rain-water should be used in very “hard water” areas. As a rough guide, the bottom centimetre of the stem should be dark in colour (indicating that water has soaked up into the bark), if the dark area is less than this the plant is too dry, if more then it is too wet .
Feed with houseplant food weekly during the flowering period (or even better use ‘Miracle Gro Azalea Camellia & Rhododendron’ plant food).
After flowering move the plants to a cool frost-free place (re-potting if necessary using an ericaceous compost), moving them out into the garden in late May. They should be kept well fed and watered in the garden until mid-September when they should be brought in for flowering for another great Christmas display but this time bigger.
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