Can You Grow Azalea Plants Indoors?

Greenhouse azalea plants are commonly sold as holiday gifts. Here's what you need to know about growing azaleas indoors.

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bloom-a-thon azalea proven winnersVia Proven Winners

Azaleas are beloved by gardeners for their vibrant flowers. As an added benefit, azalea shrubs are a hummingbird magnet. The tiny fliers can’t get enough of the colorful flowers. There’s also a type of azalea that you can grow as an indoor plant, known as a greenhouse azalea or evergreen azalea. Here’s what you need to know.

Here’s how to tell the difference between a rhododendron and an azalea. Plus, add glamour to your yard with Bollywood azalea.

Growing Azalea Plants Indoors

Greenhouse azaleas (Rhododendron hybrid) are fluffy-flowered miniature shrubs that are in ample supply in late autumn. They’re in bloom for the holiday gift giving season, and you’ll often see them with decorative foil wrapped around the pot. Evergreen leaves provide a striking base for single or double frilly blossoms in red, white, pink, coral and bicolors.

Check out more easy-care holiday houseplants.

Why We Love Greenhouse Azaleas

Greenhouse azalea plants are truly the gift that keeps on giving. Nuture your azalea indoors through the holiday season and winter. Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out. Then move it outdoors come spring. Check your plant tag for hardiness zones. They need four to six weeks of cool weather and short days to rebloom.

Want one of your own? Try the semi-evergreen Bloom-A-Thon reblooming azalea from Proven Winners, which is hardy from zones 7 to 9. Choose from red, white, lavender or pink flowers. It blooms in spring, and then again in July, continuing through summer and fall until the first hard frost.

If you are at the colder edge of the hardiness range, avoid late season planting, which doesn’t give the azalea enough time to establish before winter. Do not apply fertilizer after mid-July. All azaleas and rhododendrons benefit from a 2 to 3 inch thick layer of mulch. Follow our pruning guide and learn when to prune azaleas.

Bloom-A-Thon grows well in containers, so you can bring it inside during winter to protect it from the cold. Or you can treat the plant as an annual.

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Next, learn surprising facts about winter holiday plants.

Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with more than 30 years of professional experience in horticultural communications, much of it with Garden Gate Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens special interest publications and Lowe’s Creative Ideas. A lifelong gardener and nature enthusiast, he holds a journalism degree and later studied horticulture and became a Master Gardener. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular.