Outdoor azaleas grow as large flowering shrubs, but they can also be trained to grow as small indoor potted plants. The topiary form is both attractive and keeps the plant compact and small. When grown as a topiary, the stem of the potted azalea is kept trimmed so only a mound of foliage and flowers grows on the top of the stem. Azaleas resemble small trees when grown in this form. With proper care, the azalea blooms profusely indoors and keeps its well-groomed topiary form.
Set the potted azalea near a sunny window so it receives six or more hours of direct sunlight daily when not in bloom, and six hours of bright, indirect light when flowering. A location with temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit encourages the best flowering.
Water the azalea when the top 1/2 inch of soil begins to dry and feels only slightly moist. Water thoroughly at the base of the plant, until the excess moisture begins running out the pot's drainage holes. Empty the collected water from the drip tray after each watering.
Fertilize the azalea every two weeks with a soluble, balanced fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer at the label-recommended rate for your pot and plant size.
Pinch off 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the tip of each stem once flowering completes. Pinch overgrown stems as much as needed to maintain the shape of the topiary. Trim off any new stems forming on the trunk, cutting them flush to the trunk, to maintain the tree-like form of the azalea.
Move the azalea to a 40 to 50 degree room with filtered light in November. Stop all fertilization but continue watering, forcing the plant to rest and form flower buds. Resume fertilization and move the plant back into full light in January.