2 questions about bicolored azaleas

akhater

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I have a Kaho azalea (just bought it) and I was wondering about a few things

1) will a branch giving white flowers will always give white flowers ?
2) if I take cuttings of a branch giving flowers of one kind will the new plant develop flowers of many kinds or just of the kind that the original branch had ?

I don't know if i am being clear but if you can help it would be great
 

meushi

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Ok, this is somewhat counter-intuitive ;)

White-self shoots will usually produce plants of the parent type. They will start with white flowers only then show variation as the plant matures.

Pale-colored (pink) self shoots will usually produce plants with both pale and dark selfs.
Dark-colored (red) self shoots will usually produce plants with only that type of flower.

Shibori style with mostly white will give the full colour range of the parent.
Shibori style with more color are pretty much unreliable for propagation.

I would really recommend getting Alexander Kennedy's "floral treasures of Japan" published by Stone Lantern.
 

Attila Soos

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I have a large Kaho. And I have similar questions to yours.
Here are the few things that I know about MY Kaho: the white color dominates most of the flowers, but there are many with red or pink stripes. A few are totally pink or reddish, and have no white at all. These branches should not be pruned too much, since the color they produce is much more rare. Once they produce the red color, they will continue to do so if you don't cut them off.

Nuccio, the azalea expert told me that the cuttings taken from a branch with white flowers can eventually start producing other colors as well, but it may take a few years. The cuttings from branches with red flowers will always produce only red. The quickest way to have all the colors is to graft (approach graft).
 

akhater

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Hey Meushi I was hoping for your answer on our french speaking forum :)

regarding "floral treasures of Japan" this book is not available here so I am waiting for someone coming from the outside to order it, it might take a while before I can get my hands on it. In the meantime I am counting on your (and others) knowledge.

By the way do you have any idea if there is a ebook version of the book I can buy ?

So, if I understand well your and Attila's replies, is that I should be better off taking a cuttings from a white flowering branch !

I have received my Azalea today in 1L pot, it is about 3 years old (so I've been told) and it has only 1 flower (the rest are still buds).

This flower is almost pure white with a very very tiny pink spot :)

I wonder if it will bloom or if the travel put her into too much stress.

thanks you guys
 
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meushi

Mame
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Yeah I wondered about answering on there and decided to answer here instead. It avoided another shouting contest with some members over there. ;)

Yes, you got it right: cuttings from the white or mostly white flowers should give you true-to-species Kaho plants.

I haven't seen that book as an ebook, I ordered mine from an old stock reseller on ebay as it was not that easy to find in continental Europe either. If you want to see some of the available species, the Satsuki Jiten is a very good investment. The book itself is in Japanese but in the more recent editions they did add a latin name index to make life easier for foreigners.
 

akhater

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I guess you know by know how hard for me it was to get my hands on a satsuki, it actually came with a friend coming back from France.

She carried it for me and I don't want to risk loosing it.

So the plan is to wait till the blooming is done then take cuttings to be more on the safe side and then, next spring when I am sure I have some backups, repot the plant and start working on it.

One more question regarding cuttings. The plant I have has some branches about 1/2 a pencil in diameter. Do you think we can take cuttings "that thick" or it roots better from thinner branchers ?

Cheers
 

meushi

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You can reliably root softwood cuttings or 1 year old hardwood cuttings if done before spring growth (in February in Japan). Hardwood cuttings take longer to root and will need to be left alone for a year before repotting. Cuttings older than a year requires a lot of skill and luck... the resulting plant isn't very vigorous.

For rapid growth, you'd be better off with a juvenile shoot (long ones with leaves only at the tip) rather than a mature flowering shoot (short ones, with leaves all along, flower bud at the tip). The problem with azaleas is that they tend to stop vertical growth on a shoot once it has popped a flower bud.

A cutting from a mature flowering shoot will give a good short bonsai with compact growth and should flower the year after it was rooted. The resulting plant will be good for mame or shohin.

There is actually a whole chapter on developing bonsai from a cutting in Kennedy's book, which is why I always recommend it ;)
 

akhater

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well it is full of long shots with only leaves at the tip :) (although this tip has a flower bud)

>>There is actually a whole chapter on developing bonsai from a cutting in Kennedy's book, which is why I always recommend it <<

ok Mr. salesman :) I'll buy it. But shipping it from the US all the way here will cost me as much as the book itself so I'll have to be patient and bother you with the questions :)

Thanks a million
 

Martin Sweeney

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Akhater,

I have not seen your azalea, so take this advice as you see fit..
Why wait until next year to repot? After blooming is a great time to repot azalea. Fertilize the tree now, enjoy the blooms and then do a little light root work and place the azalea into a slightly larger pot. This would be what I would do with it if it were mine. The tree would benefit from getting more root room and reward you with increased growth and vigour, allowing you more tree to propagate from and work with next year.

Got any pictures? Always like seeing azalea flowers....

Regards,
Martin
 

akhater

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Hey Martin,

I really appreciate your reply, the original plan was to repot it after blooming this year however I live in Lebanon (Middle East) and there is no such thing as satuski azaleas here.

It is impossible for me to get my hands on one I had to import this one from France and that not something I can do every other day :(

So it is just that I don't dare repot it before making sure that I have cuttings that have rooted in that case if I come to lose the plant while repoting it I would still have something to work with.

What are my risks of killing it if I repot this year ? it is in 100% peat for the time being.

A few days ago I got to repot a indica azalea that I am hoping to train as bonsai that also was in 100% peat and I ended up cutting 3/4 of its roots and was not able to get the peat out (http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1857). That one is still alive today but I am still worried about it and I don't want te relive the same experience with the Kaho :)

I will try to take and post pictures in a few minutes
 

akhater

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Here are some pics of the plant







 

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