Azalea from Shrub, a Keeper?

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Hello friends,

I have been looking around for yamadori bonsai material for months without much luck because most of the land surrounding me is privately owned. I finally decided I would just cut a chunk off of my azalea hedge in my front yard that I thought had great roots and a workable trunk. My only concern though, I don’t know what kind of azalea it is and I don’t know if it’s suitable for bonsai. I will get a picture of the foliage tomorrow. The hedge I cut from was about 4.5 feet high with soft hairy leaves that come to a point and have no luster. I believe the flowers are pink. The leaves aren’t enormous, usually only about 1 inch in length with max length being about 1.5-2 inches. The hedges appear quite mature, leading me to believe that the bush is not a newer hybrid such as Encore azaleas. I am located in central florida.

I guess the main question is: Is it foolish to use azaleas other than satsuki or kurume or common bonsai azaleas for bonsai? Would a bonsai professional look at the variety I’ve chosen that’s not a satsuki azalea and call it a foolish decision? Should I throw away the specimen since it’s not a satsuki or kurume or a common bonsai azalea?

I know this is a loaded question and I will get pictures of foliage tomorrow.

Thanks in advance
 

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Shibui

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Most azaleas are suitable for bonsai. The Japanese satsuki are favorites because they were bred in Japan so are traditional. They also tend to have smallish leaves which fits will with bonsai.
Satsuki do not always do well in other climates so it makes a lot of sense to use the azaleas that do well in your area. Down here most garden azaleas are 'Indica' hybrids as they seem to grow best in our soils and climate. They also make great bonsai and I have collected a number of garden plants. I've also seen plenty of great examples on show benches at bonsai shows in South East Australia.
Don't worry too much about the leaves. Azaleas are shown off when they are in flower. If you can get a good flower display very few people will be looking at the leaves or even the tree's structure. All they will see is the mass of flowers.

The stump you have collected has plenty of potential for bonsai. Good choice.
 

Pitoon

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You should be able to make something very nice with that material. Did you throw away everything you cut off? You could have saved it to thread graft branches in key locations.
 

BigBen

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Welcome, enjoy your stay.
Nice potential on your find.
 

Forsoothe!

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Growing seasons around the world vary widely and it is difficult to get a perspective on what someone says when we don't know where in the world they are. If you go to the upper right hand corner and click on your Icon, you can add your location and people will be able to customize advice for you.




<<<<< It will show here.
 

Mike Corazzi

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My local HEAT managed to even cook one of those. 🤬
And it was gorgeous.
Had it before I had a digital camera so........
 
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. I will be keeping this material and making something from it. Also, thread grafting sounds like an interesting idea
 
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