24
March
2014

Easter Gift Azaleas

Azalea-00Pretty soon buyers will be ordering for the Easter gift season, so let’s review what makes a better Azalea. While it is often considered a commodity crop, Azalea, like all plants, will respond favorably to careful growing practices rather than rushed tactics to cut corners.

Most cheap Azalea growers cut their costs by forcing plants into color in a hurry, usually through cranking the house hot and fast over a few short weeks. This cook-and-ship strategy turns out a weak plant that won’t last long in the home. It results in fewer buds and less vibrant colors because plants are not allowed enough time to fully develop the chemicals that power both the scent and the color of the blossoms. When brought on too warm and too fast, plants will develop a washed-out look.

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At Diefenbacher we use cooler temperatures, gradually rising over a longer range of weeks, to grow out our Azalea. This increases bud counts and intensifies the natural colors. Cool temperatures give plants the environmental cues to develop bigger, fuller buds; slow warming mimics a natural spring and allows plants to produce more buds for better color coverage overall.

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Our Gift Azalea line includes more colors than are typically offered in the market. We have the standard pink and white, plus a vibrant hot pink, a dark red, a violet and two bicolors—for a total of seven different colors.

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Please note that our Gift Azaleas are not the hardy perennial types found in landscaping yards. Those Azaleas bloom taller and later than our cultivars. Gift Azaleas can be overwintered if they are planted close to the house or in a sheltered location, but a truly cold winter will do them in. Gift Azaleas are bred and grown specifically for the coffee table or April deck presentation.

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This year we’ve expanded our Gift Tag program to include our Easter crops. Each Azalea will ship with a large ornamental tag for the holiday (shown here) with detailed plant care instructions on the back. Customers appreciate the extra information that the large tag allows and the decorative tag genuinely enhances the gift appeal of the plant.

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Remember: We ship Azaleas in tight bud so plants have a longer shelf life at the retail center. We won’t ship plants in full bloom unless a customer specifically requests it.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

We are wholesale only!

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