If the growing conditions are favourable, it can reach considerable dimensions, up to 3-4 m of height and 1,5-2 m of width.
The foliage is round, very branched, dense; the leaves are small, oval, dark, shiny and leathery.
At the beginning of spring it produces a large quantity of small cream-coloured flowers, intensely scented with vanilla, with a feathery appearance, made up of bunches of stamens.
A. serrata has larger leaves, produces yellow-orange flowers and small white berries in autumn.
A. M. variegata has paler variegated leaves of cream yellow. The leaves of the azara are very decorative and the cut branches are often used in floral arrangements.
If the plant tends to have a too elongated posture, it can also be pruned drastically, to give it the desired shape and posture.
The Azara microphylla prefers partially shaded positions, which enjoy the sun’s rays for at least 2-5 hours throughout the day, possibly in the afternoon.
It can bear short periods of frost without any problems, but it is not suitable for places with very cold winters; young plants should be protected with tnt in winter, to avoid that the frosts ruin the leaves.
Finally, the soil around the stem can be covered with leaves and straw, or with mulch material so that the plant remains more protected from the rigours of winter.
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The Azara microphylla should be watered regularly from February to October, that is to say during its vegetative period, especially during the hottest periods of the year as it fears the sultry heat and dry soils; in winter avoid completely suspending watering, as prolonged periods of drought could compromise the development of the plant. It is good, however, to avoid excessive stagnation of water.
If the plant is cultivated in pots, even if it is rather difficult considering the height it can reach, it will need a greater quantity of water as the soil around it will tend to dry out more quickly and will not be able to enjoy the moisture present in the ground.
This plant loves loose, well-drained soils, rich in organic matter. If the soil in our garden is very heavy, we recommend preparing a very large hole and placing expanded clay or lapilli on the bottom to improve drainage, and composting soil.
In summer, it is possible to make semi-woody cuttings, utilizing 7-10 cm portions of the apexes of the branches; to root in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, then to cultivate in container in a protected place for at least 2-3 years before planting in the garden in order to give way to the new plants to acquire more strength and consistency.
Azara microphylla: Parasites and diseases
Azara microphylla can be attacked by aphids and cochineals; for this reason it is advisable to intervene with a preventive treatment with insecticide substances, before, of course, the appearance of flowers.