With evergreen leaves and blooms in a rich range of colors from deep reds to pastel pinks and pure white, dwarf Encore azaleas are a good choice for containers. You can even bring your potted azaleas inside. This is good news if you live in a part of the country where winters are too severe for outdoor azaleas.
Bring your container into a bright room and place it near a window, but be sure it doesn’t get too cold on frosty nights. The plant needs good light, such as morning direct sun and afternoon shade or bright indirect light all day. Azaleas as houseplants do best at temperatures around 60-65 F. Cooler temperatures will also help blooms last longer.
Moisture is very important for indoor azaleas. Never let these plants dry out, but remember the soil should be moist, not waterlogged. If possible, once a week submerge your potted azalea in a larger container of water, pot and all, so that the potting mix rehydrates thoroughly. When the bubbles stop, pull it out, and let it drain. Air inside our heated homes can be dry. Beware the hot, dry air of a heating vent! To increase the humidity around your plant, place the pot on a tray filled with wet pebbles or use a room humidifier. Misting of the leaves is not recommended, as this can promote fungus. Don’t fertilize Encores until spring flowering is complete. When you do, be sure you use a fertilizer for acid-loving plants.
There is a difference between hardy Encore azaleas and potted florist azaleas, which are not hardy and rarely rebloom. Most florist azaleas are doomed. However, you can enjoy your Encore azaleas for many years. Come spring, your potted Encore can go back outside, where you can enjoy its repeat blooms, whether you choose to keep it in a pot or to plant it out in the garden.