Bonsai Gardener







When it comes to bonsai, the Satsuki Azalea is a popular choice. This particular plant is very hardy and produces magnificent flowers ranging up to seven inches in diameter. Of all flowering shrubs, the Azalea is by far the most dramatic. The flowers bloom in late spring, displaying brilliant colors. While there are many species of Azalea, the Satsuki (Rhododendron indicum) is by far one of the most popular.

While the Azalea actually falls within the shrub category, it can be shaped in just about any bonsai style. With a distinct trunk, you would often see the Azalea trained in the shape of a tree. The most common styles used include the root-over-rock, semi-cascade, windswept, slanting, and informal upright, which look great on both twin and multiple trunk Azaleas.

Proper Care

To keep your Azalea healthy and happy, you want to remove any dead flowers and leaves immediately. To enhance the overall structure of the Azalea, it is important that yearly growth be removed or trained as soon as the flowering season ends. Then, any secondary shoots should be pruned in midsummer. For soil, you want to use only life-free mixes since all Azaleas and bonsai in the Rhododendron family need acidic soil. For the best results, please the Azalea in partial shade, protecting it from heavy rain or frost, especially in the flowering season.

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