Advice on Satsuki Azalea Bonsai in 5b

faithinaction81

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Hi there! I received this beautiful Satsuki Azalea Bonsai as a birthday gift, however, I have no experience with this sensitive plant at all. Looking for some advice! I live in grow zone 5b - northern Colorado at 5,000'. Thus, the climate is very dry, the sun very intense and it does get below freezing Sept-May here. I live in an apartment with a ground level, western facing patio with minimal shade. Windows in the apartment are also westward facing. Ideally, I would prefer to keep this plant inside, but I'm not sure if that's feasible for it to flourish and, if not, how to protect it from the elements, winter it properly and such. I have read up on the plant as much as I could and am using distilled water for watering (there is very little rain water here) and will get Miracid fertilizer going on it once it's done blooming. That's the extent of my knowledge! I've attached several pictures in the hopes that someone can tell me more about the plant, its needs and such. Thank you so much!
 

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sorce

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You may be able to keep it on that patio through summer and bring it in through winter, but that's a long winter!

Welcome to Crazy!

@Carol 83 ? @Colorado ?

Goin be a tuffin.

Sorce
 

Carol 83

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It's a bit warmer here. I kept mine in an unheated, detached garage and it did fine. During a couple weeks of below 0, I had it in a styrafoam cooler. I did bring a cutting of a florist type azalea inside under the lights, and it did fine. But the Satsuki wintered in the garage.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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They raise Satsuki in Hawaii, it is possible to grow it indoors. It is not the preferred method. As a "houseplant" azalea is a difficult subject.

Most that do satsuki in Colorado treat them as outdoor for summer, and into some sheltered location for winter. Your wild swings in temperature can be too much for azalea. Low humidity, high winds and heat are also a bad combination for azalea. Satsuki are not easy to grow in Colorado. Your gift was well meaning, but has plopped a pile of problems on you.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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In the Resources section there is an article. I had trouble opening it in the Resource Forum, but you can download the PDF file. It has a lot of information about growing azalea, especially Satsuki. I also attached the pdf directly to this post. Read through and then ask questions.

 

faithinaction81

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You may be able to keep it on that patio through summer and bring it in through winter, but that's a long winter!

Welcome to Crazy!

@Carol 83 ? @Colorado ?

Goin be a tuffin.

Sorce
Yes, it's a bit overwhelming to figure out! For the moment, it is beautifully blooming, but I'm trying to figure out how to keep it happy and healthy in this weird CO climate (of which, I'm still relatively new to, myself!)!
 

faithinaction81

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It's a bit warmer here. I kept mine in an unheated, detached garage and it did fine. During a couple weeks of below 0, I had it in a styrafoam cooler. I did bring a cutting of a florist type azalea inside under the lights, and it did fine. But the Satsuki wintered in the garage.
Hmm...I don't have a garage, but my parents live 15-20 minutes away and do have an attached, unheated garage. Not sure if that would work? How often do they need to be watered in the winter? Would it work to have it winter in my van in a parking lot? Or near the window in my apt where the air conditioner and window give more breeze than I'd necessarily like?
 

faithinaction81

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They raise Satsuki in Hawaii, it is possible to grow it indoors. It is not the preferred method. As a "houseplant" azalea is a difficult subject.

Most that do satsuki in Colorado treat them as outdoor for summer, and into some sheltered location for winter. Your wild swings in temperature can be too much for azalea. Low humidity, high winds and heat are also a bad combination for azalea. Satsuki are not easy to grow in Colorado. Your gift was well meaning, but has plopped a pile of problems on you.
It is certainly a learning curve. Because it was a special gift, I really want to do everything that I can to help the plant flourish, but I do realize that my location isn't its natural happy place in life!
 

sorce

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Let's just say you're going to need every bit of that faithinaction to make this happen.

Sorce
 
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Greetings and welcome aboard!

It would help to know what cultivar of Satsuki you have. Some are much more Hardy than others, even when it comes to wintering over in a garage. Then you’ll have a better idea what you are up against

Likely the cultivar name is on the tag that comes with it, alternately you can ask the person who got it for you where it came from and ask them.

When you get this data post it and we’ll check it out.

No matter what it’s going to be an interesting learning experience!

Cheers
DSD sends
 

faithinaction81

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Greetings and welcome aboard!

It would help to know what cultivar of Satsuki you have. Some are much more Hardy than others, even when it comes to wintering over in a garage. Then you’ll have a better idea what you are up against

Likely the cultivar name is on the tag that comes with it, alternately you can ask the person who got it for you where it came from and ask them.

When you get this data post it and we’ll check it out.

No matter what it’s going to be an interesting learning experience!

Cheers
DSD sends
Hmm...I'm not sure where to start there. The gift was sent from flowers.com. It didn't come with any tags, cultivator info, care info, or paperwork at all. I chatted with a flowers.com representative and they were clueless. All they could tell me is that it was likely greenhouse grown and to refer to the website description. Here's the link to that: https://www.1800flowers.com/azalea-bonsai-18201. Is there any way to tell more about the plant from the flowers and leaves? Any other ideas on how to get info on it? Thanks for the help!
 
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The website seems to show a different Satsuki then the one you have. Your Satsuki has been forced for sure, being this early.

I can’t spot the name from the flowers, some others might be able to. The catalog shows over 1400 cultivars. The closet I can come to is Mini no Yuki, which is cold Hardy. Yet not the cold hardy for the temperatures you'll be getting.

The leaves do indicate more of a northern Japanese azalea to me.

The only thing I’d recommend doing is wait until there are do and wash the roots off and repot in a better soil media after the blooms are done and prune back the growth to 2 branches at each node per . I use 90/10 small kanuma/small pumice for all my Satsuki.

Cheers
DSD sends
 

Cadillactaste

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Greetings and welcome aboard!

It would help to know what cultivar of Satsuki you have. Some are much more Hardy than others, even when it comes to wintering over in a garage. Then you’ll have a better idea what you are up against

Likely the cultivar name is on the tag that comes with it, alternately you can ask the person who got it for you where it came from and ask them.

When you get this data post it and we’ll check it out.

No matter what it’s going to be an interesting learning experience!

Cheers
DSD sends
Agreed with some are cold hardier. I've one that can handle brief temps in the teens. Another that can't go below 32F. I've a controlled cold greenhouse so not a problem. But for the more mild temperature cultivar...it would be hard to winter without the greenhouse.
 

Carol 83

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Hmm...I don't have a garage, but my parents live 15-20 minutes away and do have an attached, unheated garage. Not sure if that would work? How often do they need to be watered in the winter? Would it work to have it winter in my van in a parking lot? Or near the window in my apt where the air conditioner and window give more breeze than I'd necessarily like?
This was the first winter with mine, so listen to the azalea experts here. I typically watered once a week all winter.
 

Bolero

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I have 3....., Two I planted into the ground next to a fence, they are open to the East and the North, both are doing very well with Hundreds of Flowers blooming late April thru May into June...One Suzuki Azalea I repotted into a 10" wide x 16" deep vase/pot placed on my Patio and it is also doing very well, I water every 2 weeks, I live in 5b Lower Michigan, I consider them a very hardy Bonsai plant.....
 
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I have 3....., Two I planted into the ground next to a fence, they are open to the East and the North,...One Suzuki Azalea I repotted into a 10" wide x 16" deep vase/pot placed on my Patio

Looks like you have 3 Hardy Satsuki! Do you know which cultivars of Satsuki these are?
Cheers
DSD sends
 

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