PROBLEMS AND INVESTIGATIONS ON INDOOR AZALEAS RHODODENDRON SIMSII
Growing too has considerably improved. One full-time labour unit today handles ten times as many azaleas as one century ago. The production speed has doubled so that in fact the multiplication factor is twenty. All this was possible because breeders developed cultivars with an ever accelerated growth vigor. In addition, scientific research contributed to optimal fertilisation. Accelerated growth was kept under control though by growth regulators, so that the shape of the plants could be preserved in accordance with consumer demands. Potted production helped to save enormous labour costs. Production is largely mechanised. Chemical pinching and chemical weed controls have also considerably cut the labour input.
Until 30 years ago, breeding was exclusively empirical. As scientific research managed to trace the inheritance of the flower colours, breeding for a specific colour is now much more productive. The same applies to the size of flowers and their form. This fundamental work in the first place provides the information breeders need for their future investigations.
We are convinced that progress will continue to be enormous in the next years. The door to progress will indeed be kept open by biotechnology, the various species within the Tsutsusi subgenus which have not yet been used, and new developments in the area of ecophysiology.