When you think of the Azalea, you might think of paintings by Manet; of Zen styling with a hint of bonsai; or maybe of your granny who tended to her specimens like treasures. But in fact today’s azaleas are nothing like your granny’s and they’re not very good at being restrained! They burst out of their pot, are stronger and easier to live with and are altogether more popular these days.
Azalea is suddenly everywhere
Some credit needs to go to controversial hip-hop star Iggy Azalea, who has considerably boosted this plant’s household name. However, Azalea’s comeback is also thanks to festival fashion, with many stylish music lovers wandering around in tops, kimonos and hats with the flowers on them. And in the hipster category of ‘weird & wonderful’ you can’t do better than prune your Azalea with bonsai techniques into a flowering indoor tree for the indoor garden trend. It also helps that every self-respecting cosmetics label - including Smashbox, MAC and Burberry - has recently included Azalea pink (a shade which is not suitable for wallflowers) in their collection.
Hot pink to cheer you up
Azalea is also the ultimate pick-me-up during the darkest days of the year. That’s when it’s looking its best – it has so many flowers that it feels like summer again. It’s available in colours you don’t often see on houseplants, such as bubblegum pink, lilac and the sort of hot pink that makes you smile involuntarily; just what you need to get rid of any December blues! So much energy and so much cheerfulness will effortlessly carry you through to the first narcissi.