Azaleas are from the family ‘Ericaceae’, which is the family of heaths or heathers, and belong to the genus ‘Rhododendron’, a group of woody plants. It is a popular flowering shrub species and there are thousands of cultivars. They are mainly spring-blooming (May to June) and the flowers last just a few weeks. Blooms are typically pink and white, white Azaleas are also known as the ‘Royalty of the Garden. Azaleas are either deciduous or evergreen, depending on the species, and generally like to grow under the shade of trees. They can grow up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) tall, although some only grow to half that height. It also makes for a fantastic house plant until they outgrow their pot and then they can be transferred to the garden.
At Chrysal they have three solutions which can help prolong the selling period and improve the display quality and appearance of Azaleas. The first is the Aquastick which works by supplying plants with water from a reservoir. Like all water supplies the larger the reservoir the longer the plant will be able to survive on that reservoir without the need for topping up.
It is important to note that when using Aquastick to display Azalea one must ensure that a suitable outer pot is used so that the growers pot is above the water reservoir and the Aquastick is inserted correctly. Plants can then draw water as and when they need it which keeps plants turgid and healthy during the display period as well as making it much easier for the end user to keep the plant watered without under or over watering.
The second solution is Chrysal LeafShine & Seal which basically shines leaves which gives a better quality appearance of the whole plant but also adds firmness to flowers. To get the best results from LeafShine & Seal it is recommended to apply at 50mls per litre to achieve a shine effect as well as reduced evaporation. 25mls per litre can be used but this will only give evaporation control without much shine effect. LeafShine & Seal reduces the amount of transpiration from the plant therefore slowing down the water consumption/demand from the pot and prolonging the plant's life on the shelf.
The third and final solution is the Chrysal Aqua Pad which is basically a natural wood fibre mat that is placed between the outer ceramic and the growers pot. The Aqua Pad comes in a variety of sizes to suit the display pot size and with Azaleas being quite bushy plants they obviously perform better in bigger pots. If a 12cm pot is used this requires a 9cm Aqua Pad that can hold 110 to 130mls of additional water which can prolong Azalea shelf life an extra 2 to 3 days.