All about Azaleas!!!

irene_b

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OK I am bitten :eek:
After seeing all the wonderful flowers on these jewels that each has shown with such pride (well earned), I am now ready to explore them....

Being an old gardener (said with pride) I am always game to learn the joys and pitfalls of different plants...
I ask for everyone that has Azaleas to please step forward and help me learn about them, not just as Bonsai (although that is my first love).
Irene/Mom

And yup I bought a few yesterday :D
 
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Mother...

Bonsai Northwest just got a shipment of imports from Japan... very reasonable considering the trunks... high end is like $1200 I think with a mean average from 600-800ish... some less.... anyway I bet Sharon Muth would be willing to send you some photos if you are interested in putting your name to one... they aren't being released for another month-ish... I was drooling so much I should have been made to mop the floor... these trees aren't as developed as mine structurally... but the trunks are divine and some of them are well on their way.

If I get by there this weekend, I could take some photos for you as well....

I'm also getting ready to do a talk on Satsuki later this month... I'm thinking of doing it as a power point.... so if I do... I'll be sure to send it to you. :)

hugs,

BBG
 

rockm

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Or....

You could ask around locally looking for old landscape material if you haven't got $1,200. Seriously, azaleas are not all that hard to collect, as they put out very shallow dense roots. Might take a bit longer to develop, but landscape trees are a great source.

For what it's worth, I saw a very large, possible Japanese import azalea bonsai (4-5 inch trunk or so, big developed branches, etc. VERY nice tree) go for $350 at a club auction last week. It must have cost in the thousands if it was bought retail. I almost cried, as I didn't have the money. Sources are out there and are worth exploring if you're looking for a developed azalea bonsai...
 
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So true... but I think she may be after the verigation in satsuki blooms... which can't be attained with any other way than just buying one... :D

V
 

bwaynef

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If you want VERY reasonable prices on imported Satsuki Azaleas, check out http://greenthumbbonsai.com . I'm not sure if he has any on his website, but if you get in touch with him I'm fairly certain you'll be happy. John's one of the good guys and will take care of you.

He has some of the neagari style that I've seen more and more of, some nice chuhin, and some massive trunks. There are all different varieties, but I'm not sure which particular ones there are. The one in the link below is still available ...as of about 2 weeks ago.

http://bonsaistudygroup.com/satsuki-azalea-discussion/satusuki-azalea-kinsai/
 

Attila Soos

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So true... but I think she may be after the verigation in satsuki blooms... which can't be attained with any other way than just buying one... :D

V

The variability of flowers is the real charm for me. That's why I by no other azale, but Satsuki. I can't explain it, but there is something mysterious about those flowers. There is still in the realm of a small miracle to me, that one flower looks different from the one next to it. When I tell this to people not familiar with bonsai, they can't believe it.
 

buddhamonk

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Funny - same thing happened to me last month. I bought my first satsuki and since then I've been addicted. The tree I bought is an imported kinu-no-hikari and since I've been buying lots of small Shinnyo-no-tsuki. Still looking for more trees and I'll definately head to Bonsai Northwest this weekend.

Two books are apparently recommended by people

"Floral treasure of Japan: satsuki azaleas" and "Satsuki Azaleas for Bonsai and Azalea Enthusiasts"
 
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The variability of flowers is the real charm for me. That's why I by no other azale, but Satsuki. I can't explain it, but there is something mysterious about those flowers. There is still in the realm of a small miracle to me, that one flower looks different from the one next to it. When I tell this to people not familiar with bonsai, they can't believe it.

So speaking of unusual things they do.... do you tend to get a variance in the number of flower petals from flower to flower... most are the traditional five... with some six... and even 1 four... not to mention some other very interesting mutations... lol

V
 

Bill S

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Well they don't like to dry out for sure, they are thirsty daily, but don't like to be wet all the time.

The one I have has five distinct blossoms. I believe it is a Hari No Kavi, but not posative, I'd need to check my records.
 
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irene_b

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Ok forgive my bad pics...Had mosquitoes eating me up!!
 

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irene_b

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Took shots of each one.
 

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irene_b

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They only had 1 Satsuki there...
Better stock comes after I find out if these live :eek:
 

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Attila Soos

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Funny - same thing happened to me last month. I bought my first satsuki and since then I've been addicted. The tree I bought is an imported kinu-no-hikari and since I've been buying lots of small Shinnyo-no-tsuki. Still looking for more trees and I'll definately head to Bonsai Northwest this weekend.

Two books are apparently recommended by people

"Floral treasure of Japan: satsuki azaleas" and "Satsuki Azaleas for Bonsai and Azalea Enthusiasts"

That's what happens. We, bonsai people, are rather compulsive by nature. So, after owning (and reading through) the two books on Satsuki, and buying your fist Satsuki plant, you can't stop buying more. The only thing that will stop you, will be your limited space.
 

irene_b

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That's what happens. We, bonsai people, are rather compulsive by nature. So, after owning (and reading through) the two books on Satsuki, and buying your fist Satsuki plant, you can't stop buying more. The only thing that will stop you, will be your limited space.
Don't say that Attila!!!!!!!!! (looks in panic at all the acreage she has)
 

irene_b

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Mother...

Bonsai Northwest just got a shipment of imports from Japan... very reasonable considering the trunks... high end is like $1200 I think with a mean average from 600-800ish... some less.... anyway I bet Sharon Muth would be willing to send you some photos if you are interested in putting your name to one... they aren't being released for another month-ish... I was drooling so much I should have been made to mop the floor... these trees aren't as developed as mine structurally... but the trunks are divine and some of them are well on their way.

If I get by there this weekend, I could take some photos for you as well....

I'm also getting ready to do a talk on Satsuki later this month... I'm thinking of doing it as a power point.... so if I do... I'll be sure to send it to you. :)

hugs,

BBG
DO take lots of photos!!!!!!!!!!!
 

irene_b

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The variability of flowers is the real charm for me. That's why I by no other azale, but Satsuki. I can't explain it, but there is something mysterious about those flowers. There is still in the realm of a small miracle to me, that one flower looks different from the one next to it. When I tell this to people not familiar with bonsai, they can't believe it.

Ok please explain the how and why...
 

irene_b

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I have 1 book of Satsuki Azaleas by Robert Z Callaham ( Have not even opened it up yet :eek:)
Bought from Stone Lantern a ways back, what are the thoughts on it?

The trees are in dirt is there a certain time that I should remove them from it? (I am so a noob on these things)
What care should they be getting?
And later I will want to know about ferts for them :D....
I think the reason I have never played with them is because of the horror story I have heard about them as Bonsai....
Shyt maybe I need to stick with Pines and Yews :eek: and the decids I have!!!!!!!!!
 

Martin Sweeney

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Irene,

These are rambling thoughts concerning how I grow Satsuki.

Azaleas like acidic soil, so watch your soil ingredients for pH.

I use my basic soil mix and 50% Kanuma. It works well for me in North Carolina. Echoing what Bill S said, they like to be consistently moist. That is my main reason for using Kanuma, it retains moisture and seems to help distribute it thoughout the soil mass.

I fertilize them with regular old miracle grow, just like everything else I grow. I have seen no ill effects.

They are basally dominant. Leave more leaves to the top of the tree than you would with other species. Prune harder on the lower branches than you would with other species.

I repot as blooming reaches it's peak, or just after. I also prune at the same time. I understand this may be old fashioned technique, but it works here for me. (I have a long growing season and mild winter. That might help make this successful for me.) My understanding is that there is a halt in new root development during flowering, and then sort of a second spring of increased root growth soon after flowering that helps the tree recover from repotting.

During post flowering pruning, I remove all ovaries and selectively prune excess branching as azalea tend to form whorled growth with 3-5 branches commonly emerging just behind the spent flower buds. After new growth emerges post pruning, you will probably want to go back over the tree to eliminate new whorled growth.

I try to remove blooms as they form over the summer on trees I am growing out. Hurts to do it, but helps to increase the amount of energy spent on growth.

Healthy satsuki bud agressively after hard pruning (remembering basal dominance). They bud from old wood readily as well.

Satsuki bloom off of last years growth, although in milder climates, buds can develop late winter and bloom that spring. Typically, the later you prune this year, the less flowers nest year.

Satsuki can tolerate more sun than other azalea.

Keeping open flowers out of rain and limiting wetting flowers during watering will help the flowers last longer.

I like to use a slightly larger, deeper pot than I might for other species. Helps with the even moisture thing.

They have very fine roots, but typically throw out lot's of them, so I agressively prune roots as needed. You might want to go easy at first. They develop excellent nebari even though they produce fine roots.

Watch for lacebug. It is the main pest I have. They live and breed under azalea leaves, sucking the leaf juices out, leaving lot's of small areas with out green. Leaf looks kind of bleached. If you turn the leaf over, you will see small black dots. This is sometimes eggs, young or turds. Systemic insecticides work well.

I do not have any experience growing the Encore varieties. I don't know that the above will work with Encore (especially the repotting due to repeat blooming) azaleas. I only own 2, one is being grown out in a container for the third year before heading to the landscape and the second is probably headed for bonsai training come spring (purchased last fall and no work done on it yet). Enjoy learning on them.

I find them easier to grow than many other species, but North Carolina is an excellent place to grow azalea in the landscape, and that seems to translate to them growing well as bonsai. I don't know how azalea do where you live, but I find them incredibly rewarding to grow as bonsai and wish you great success with yours!

I am sure there is more to say, but that is what I could think of.

Regards,
Martin
 
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