Azalea Bonsai Care Indoor – In the world of bonsai, there is nothing more beautiful than an Azalea bonsai in full bloom. No other plant can boast a floral glory that matches the healthy Azalea. Very few bonsai growers work with azaleas because of how difficult it is to keep them healthy. However, there are a few simple secrets that allow almost anyone interested to grow a beautiful Azalea bonsai.
Azaleas are a group of small to medium-sized shrubby plants in the genus Rhododendron and are found in most temperate regions of North America, Europe and Asia. They are almost always broad-leaved evergreens and almost always have showy flowers. The main difference between a Rhododendron and an Azalea is how the flowers are presented. In most Rhododendrons, the flowers form in a triangle at the end of each branch; true azaleas have a single flower at the end of each branch. However, Rhododendrons are often called Azaleas in nurseries. The author has such a “Taiwan Azalea” in his collection that produces beautiful pink flowers.
Azalea Bonsai Care Indoor
For bonsai purposes, Azaleas come in about three varieties: Satsuki and Kurume, which are native to Japan, and American Azalea, or Rhododendron, which is widely used in landscaping in the southern United States. The American varieties usually have larger leaves and flowers than the Japanese. American azaleas usually bloom in early spring.
Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Guide| Bonsai Mirai
Satsuki and Kurume Azaleas tend to have small leaves, making them better material for bonsai. There are also several Satsuki varieties that produce different colored flowers, usually with a patchy mix of pink and white or red and white on the same flower. There are other varieties that produce different colored flowers (usually red and white) on the same plant. Satsuki Azaleas were named by the Japanese for their tendency to bloom in June, the sixth month.
Almost all difficulties in keeping Azalea bonsai come from two factors: 1) Water/soil chemistry; and 2) Soil composition. Most Azaleas come from the nursery in a pot made up of 100% organic material. This is done for a number of reasons. First, growers assume that the buyer will plant the azalea in the ground or in a large container on the patio, and a 1-liter piece of organic material around the roots will help it establish itself. Second, Azalea needs a lot of nutrients to produce the flowers, which is its big selling point.
The problem with potting azaleas in this way is that organic soil drains very poorly, eventually leading to the death of the plant due to root rot. If you buy a nursery azalea, repot it at the first opportunity. Bonsai soil for Azalea should be 40% organic matter and 60% aggregate for drainage. Japanese growers use a baked clay pellet called Kanuma as a filler, but it can be expensive to purchase. The author has had good results with decomposed granite and pumice aggregate, but you can replace the sorbent with cars or cat litter if it is made from fired clay granules and contains no chemical additives. Azaleas need their soil and water on the acidic side. This can be done initially by adding peat moss to the soil, but the azalea enthusiast will use a fertilizer for acid-loving plants, or some other way to lower the pH, especially if the water is alkaline. You should not use artificially softened water or try to add pool chemicals to the water supply. The accumulation of salt in the soil will kill the azalea. Some people will add orange peel or an old tea bag to their water bottles to acidify the water and it seems to work well, but be careful. Start with a small amount to see how Azalea handles it.
If you are putting an azalea in a bonsai pot, consider using a pot that is a bit large by bonsai standards. The extra soil volume gives the plant room to grow and also protects it from the effects of watering and fertilization errors. Azaleas tend to form dense clumps of fine fibrous roots. This makes root pruning relatively easy, but be careful. These roots tear and damage easily, so try to avoid using a root hook or cultivator when cutting roots. Azaleas root density also makes them prone to root rot, as well as problems with pot binding and soil becoming too dry. Once potted, check them occasionally to make sure the soil isn’t too wet or too dry. Both are indicators of root problems, which are the number one killer of Azalea bonsai.
Duc De Rohan Azalea Bonsai Tree
The author has had the most success with organic fertilizers such as blood meal and bone meal. Blood meal provides nitrogen for leaf growth and bone meal provides phosphorus for bud formation and flowering. The time of fertilization depends on when the Azalea bonsai blooms. Satsuki Azaleas bloom in May and June and should be fed bone meal in early spring and blood meal later in the year. With Rhododendrons and American hybrids, you can start feeding them with bone meal in late winter where winters are mild, where flowering can start as early as March.
Azaleas should be kept outdoors, but they should be protected from direct sunlight and strong winds. Although some azaleas are referred to as “indoor azaleas,” the reality is that indoor azaleas must be kept in a greenhouse or conservatory.
Azaleas can be shaped into almost any bonsai style. Most bonsai artists will not photograph one as a windblown or cascading style, as they do not reflect the natural growth habits of the azalea. Care should be taken when connecting Azalea. The bark is easily damaged. Some bonsai masters wrap the wire in tissue paper before placing it on the azalea to protect the bark. Be careful bending branches. While young growth is usually quite flexible, the wood can be brittle in older growth. You should prune your Azalea bonsai in the spring, after flowering (for those species that bloom in winter or early spring) when the tree begins to produce vegetative growth. Azaleas are basally dominant, rather than apically dominant. This means they will produce more growth at the base of the tree than at the top. Keep this in mind when cutting. Some growers recommend removing the flowers to encourage leaf growth, but you can just kill the flowers if they start to fade.
Using the techniques here will result in a beautiful Azalea bonsai that will last you for years to come. This iconic Kurume azalea bonsai is only five years old, created by Assistant Art Director Dennis Leong. Leong began by cutting a canopy of small azaleas into the shape of a miniature tree. Then he cut the roots and fixed the plant in a bonsai tray.
Stunning Flowering Bonsai Trees
Kurume and Satsuki azalea hybrids make the best bonsais. They are easy to train; wherever you score, they will sprout new growth. Bonsai supplies are available at most nurseries.
1. Cut two 2-inch pieces of plastic mesh into a square and place one over each drainage hole on the inside of the bonsai tray. For each piece of mesh, make two loops in a 4-inch-long piece of wire and thread the ends through the mesh and drain hole. Turn the jar over and bend the wire out.
2. Cut the heads off the matchsticks. Cut two 20-inch lengths of wire and wrap each wire six times around a match in the center of the wire.
3. Cut two pieces of wire 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and bend them in half. Attach a wire match into each drain hole by placing another match on the outside of the drain hole and running the ends of the short wire over the wire match, through the mesh and hole and around the outer match.
Evergreen Bonsai Tree Species And Care
4. Remove the azalea from the pot (D). Prune to thin out the top growth to open up the plant’s structure and form a woody shape.
5. Carefully remove the soil from the roots and gently loosen them; Spray the roots regularly with water during work.
6. Cut off two-thirds of the roots, flatten the bottom of the root ball and round the sides to reduce the diameter. The trimmed roots should cover about two-thirds of the surface of the bonsai shell. Place the base of the plant just off-center in the dish. Add soil to hold the root ball in place and work it around the roots with a pick.
7. Cut two 3/4 inch wide by 4 inch long strips from the remaining screen. Lay a stripe across each side of the root ball. Run anchor wire through the end of both screens, then twist the wire ends tightly over the mesh to hold the root ball securely in place. Cut off the excess thread.
Flowering Chinzan Azalea Bonsai Tree (azalea Satsuki ‘chinzan’)
8. Finish filling the pot with soil. Water well. Sprinkle moss spores over the soil surface and spray regularly with water Bonsai expert advice if necessary Our experience – your advantage Own production of
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