How to Care for an Azalea Plant Gift

I am wondering what kind of plant this is and how to take care of it?

Hi Blett,

Your plant is called an azalea “topiary,” meaning it’s been trained to have a beautiful stem rather than being just a bush.

Azaleas, are related to rhododendrons and blueberries. These plants have terminal blooms, which means the entire plant flowers at one time, making a beautiful display. Since florist azalea plants are different than outdoor azalea plants, they rarely do well planted in your garden. These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.

Azalea plants require bright indirect light while blooming, but no direct sunlight. If there is not enough light the buds of an azalea won’t open. Allow the top 2″-3″ of soil to dry out before watering. Azaleas are acid loving plants; if your water is alkaline add one tablespoon of vinegar to each gallon of water. You can also water azaleas with leftover tea. Large numbers of leaves drop off if the soil is too wet or too dry. Fertilize monthly with an acidic fertilizer diluted to 1/3 the recommended strength. Never fertilize your azalea plant when it is in bloom.

You can read all my care tips in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.