An azalea tree is an azalea flower shrub that’s been trained to grow as a tree! Azalea trees are beloved for their beautiful braided tree trunks and equally beautiful azalea blooms that grow generously and fragrantly. They’re meant to be grown indoors which makes indoor azalea trees perfect for people who want to bring some color and blooms into their home during the winter.
I have a few houseplants in my home and I cherish them ALL but there’s nothing like indoor azalea trees. I truly believe every home should have at least one colorful houseplant.
If you currently don’t have any indoor plants in your house or apartment, take a visit to your local garden center and check out their selection. I bet you won’t be able to resist taking at least one of them home.
Live plants can absolutely be used as home decor. They add life and vibrancy to every room and can even brighten up the darkest of corners. They can also make your home look more cared for and intentional.
This year, I’ve fallen in love with indoor azalea trees. My mom gave me one as a gift and I’m so glad she did. (I think plants make the perfect gift!).
Now, I consider myself an azalea enthusiast. Indoor azalea trees are so strikingly beautiful that I don’t understand how anyone could not love them. Unless, of course, you’re sensitive to fragrance and hate the color pink.
This tree is indeed fragrant, but not annoyingly so. The blooms let off a soft, pleasing scent. It’s a fragrance I’m happy to have in my home.
You might be familiar with azaleas that are grown outdoors in gardens, but you may not have known that there’s an azalea variety that’s specifically made to be grown indoors. I know I didn’t.
They grow this variety in greenhouses at specific temperatures so that they can thrive inside your home. It’s why you can find them blooming in stores in January, a time when much of the country is covered in snow.
Having access to fresh and fragrant blooms in your house during the Winter is a blessing, especially for those who can’t wait for Spring.
While I love my deep-green pothos plants and my plants that produce long-lasting blooms, like my Peace Lily and Anthurium plants, indoor azalea blooms are simply incomparable.
They stand apart from my other houseplants and pretty much take center stage when they’re in bloom. It’s not their fault – they’re just so pretty!
In fact, I use my azalea tree as the decorative focal point of my dining room because of its bright pink blooms and braided tree trunk. And let me tell you – the braided tree trunk is a sight to see all on its own – it’s a thick braid that leads the eye up to a large cloud of flower blossoms.
The generous flower clusters actually remind me of cotton candy (yes, I have a sweet tooth…guilty!).
And their fragrance alone is reason enough for me to welcome azalea trees into my home every year. If you’re a fan of lilacs and peonies, I think you’d definitely be a fan of indoor azalea trees.
WHERE TO BUY INDOOR AZALEA TREES
There are a few different azalea varieties, so make sure you purchase one that is meant to be grown indoors. Indoor varieties are grown and nurtured in greenhouses, so you’ll find them sold indoors at stores like Trader Joe’s, Costco, and even grocery stores.
You can also, of course, find them at garden centers. An easy way to tell that it’s an indoor azalea is to look at the pot it’s in. Usually, indoor azalea trees are sold in a pot that is covered by foil lining and plastic wrap. It’ll look like it’s meant to be used as a house-warming gift, like something you picked up at the florist. The tag should also specifiy where and how its meant to be grown.
Sunlight Needs for Indoor Azalea Trees
Indoor azalea trees are far more sensitive to light than outdoor varieties, so you’ll need to keep that in mind. They do best in temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Farheinht. In fact, higher temperatures can actually disrupt bloom times.
I will say that azalea trees are not exactly the most low-maintenance plants you can grow, but the blooms are worth the extra effort it takes to keep them looking their best.
To ensure that your plant gets the sunlight it needs, place the potted tree in an area of your home that gets exposure to indirect sunlight for at least 4 to 6 hours each day.
What do I mean by indirect sunlight? Think of an area of your home that gets bright light but is a few feet away from a window. Placing houseplants right next to windows can result in sunburn and dehydration, so choose your spot wisely.
Always remember that indoor azaleas trees can easily wilt if exposed to too much heat.
As with other indoor plants, be careful not to repot your azalea tree into a pot that is significantly larger than the one it came in.
This could shock your plant, something you want to avoid. Instead, choose a pot that is no more than 20% bigger than the pot it was purchased in.
When my mom gave me my first azalea tree, it was growing in a plastic pot. I simply transferred it into a pot that was a tad larger and more decorative.
Before transferring your plant, place a bit of potting soil at the bottom of the new pot, then fill in the sides with more soil.
Gently apply pressure to the soil with your palms to make sure that both the soil and the tree is in place.
How to Water Indoor Azalea Trees
Indoor azalea trees love moisture! This is a plant that you’ll need to water frequently.
Never let the soil dry out, or you’ll end up with wilting blooms that will begin to shrivel up. If you see that the blooms are starting to droop, take it as a sign that your plant is not getting enough water.
Don’t worry, though. You’ll see them perk right back up a few hours after you give it a good soak. Generally speaking, I water my azalea tree every couple of days when it’s in bloom. I just do the simple touch-test.
Before watering, I test the dryness of the soil by touching it with my fingers. If the soil feels moist about an inch deep, I wait another day before watering.
If it feels like it’s going to dry out soon, I’ll grab my watering can and give it a generous drink of water, or I stick it in the sink for a soak.
How to Fertilize Indoor Azalea Trees
Azaleas can benefit from being fertilized but only once the blooms are spent for the year- never add fertilizer while the tree is still blooming.
In the Spring after the blooms have faded, apply a liquid fertilizer to the pot. Be sure to water the soil first, then add the fertilizer. When I fertilize, I fill a watering can with some water and then mix in the liquid fertilizer and proceed to water the tree as I normally do.
Deadheading Indoor Azalea Trees
Deadheading is an important part of maintaining a beautiful azalea tree. After flowering, you can take your pruning shears and snip off the dead flower blooms so that they don’t make a mess in or around the pot.
Snipping right below the bud is all you need to do. You can also give it a deeper prune to help the overall look of the tree if that’s your wish.
Getting Your Indoor Azalea Tree to Rebloom
Indoor azalea trees don’t rebloom easily the following year after they first bloom, which is why most people just toss them out after the blooms are spent, and then buy a new one the following year.
It’s just like poinsettias – once they’re done blooming, people prefer to toss them out at the end of the season instead of going through the extra effort it takes to encourage rebloom. (If you’re looking for tips though for this festive plant, check out our post on How to Water Poinsettia Plants).
The first thing you’ll want to do if you’re going to keep your azalea is to provide it with the right kind of fertilizer. Remember that when fertilizing any plant, always make sure the soil is moist, first. Fertilizing on dry soil can shock the plants and their root system.
After fertilizing, make sure to keep your azalea in a warm, sunny spot. Keep in mind that your indoor azalea tree was raised in a greenhouse, so it’s not suited to cold temperatures.
During the Summer, you can prune back some of the wooden branches that look unsightly. Keep your plant well-watered, just as you did when it was blooming season.
If you’re interested in adding more colorful houseplants to your plant collection, consider reading up on the following!
How Often to Water Chrysanthemums