Azalea training, good idea / bad idea ?

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#21
I am anxious to see if John agrees but it has been my experience that Azalea do not care about substrate BUT they do like to be damp NOT moist. So the answer would rely heavily on how often you can water to maintain damp soil conditions(at least here in the NE). They do throw a LOT of fine root so for me a 50/50 mix of Dry Stall and topsoil works out great but only because they get water 2 times a day as needed to maintain moisture in Spring and then 15 minutes 2 times a day with auto watering throughout growing season. I only Fertilize one time in Spring and only a 2 maybe 3 times during grow season as they are a shrub and therefore get treated as one. Just my 2 pennies :rolleyes:

Grimmy

It is very hard for me to say what will work best for you...I do agree with everything Grimmy said and would add that azaleas hate to be dry as much as wet...moist is the goal.

For me soil is part of a bigger equation. Your environment and your dedication to the care of your trees are the other variables. Your trees will tell you with their vigor and health when you have it all balanced. For me watering is the variable that can be used to compensate until the right formula is achieved. Material with a large foliage mass tend to get dry faster...less foliage stay wet longer..

I am sure people will say I am nuts, what's new:), but I wasn't successful with azaleas until I stopped using bonsai soil with them... I use a peat based potting mix with bark and perlite...whether the tree is in a nursery or bonsai container. I repot after 2-3 growing seasons and seek a container volume that will nearly dry out daily given my watering habits and the foliage mass of the tree.

Its never perfect...at least not in my garden...its ongoing challenge to provide optimal care given changing conditions...you have to pay attention and make changes based on the health of your trees.

I am not saying this will work for you...let your plants tell you what works best!!
 
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#24
Hey Onlyrey... It's good to see yet another SC bonsai guy on the forum... If you want to see some nice azaleas now is the perfect time to head over to Keislers Azalea farm...on highway 1 a couple miles west of Lexington high school. I was just there this week and a lot of his stock is blooming ...easy to separate the early bloomers from the late bloomers. All of his azaleas are in 3 gal containers....some maybe as old as 20 years...all $10. Certainly worth your time if you like azaleas.

You are wise not to go to crazy on the roots...although I don't think the plastic plate will achieve the effect you hope for...azalea roots aren't like maple roots...

Btw...that guy in the videos doesn't have a clue......
Ten dollars!!! I am in the wrong country......
 
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Indian Rocks Beach, FL
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#28
Finally got to visit Keisler's Azalea Farm. Bought 3 azaleas, the first is tall and with a good trunk (2" base) and the other two will be a surprise when I preun them, but they have tiny leaves. Can I prune them late summer / early fall?
 

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Eric Group

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#29
Finally got to visit Keisler's Azalea Farm. Bought 3 azaleas, the first is tall and with a good trunk (2" base) and the other two will be a surprise when I preun them, but they have tiny leaves. Can I prune them late summer / early fall?
Man, you have to go when they are blooming next time! You can still find trunks This time of year, but the Spring is the best time by far!

I have never done one this late in the year. In our warm climate, late winters... New growth will probably harden off fine before Winter, but you are kind of pushing right up against that deadline now! Might be better to wait until next year if you want to be safe.

You have more self control than I do! I filled my truck up when I went there this Spring! I think I walked out with... 7-8 trees... The First one looks like a Kurume Hampton's Beauty... Do you know what the variety of the other is?
 
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#30
Its a little late in my book but you might be able to get away with it....but youll get the best results if you chop in the spring. The second one looks to be a miyuki. Glad you found your way!!
 

Eric Group

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#31
Its a little late in my book but you might be able to get away with it....but youll get the best results if you chop in the spring. The second one looks to be a miyuki. Glad you found your way!!
I thought it might be Miyuki too... They are my favs!
 
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#32
Don't want to risk it. I'll wait till early spring.

Thinking about this amazing stock, and where I live (Bluthewood-SC), which has a good community of retirees, a begginers workshop would be a hit. If any of you guys are up to the task, I can get you in contact with the community's event's organizer.

The good thing about Azaleas is that, unlike other nursery stock, roots are fibrous all over, and can be readily potted down...
 
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#33
One of the two bushy azaleas (Miyuki) had one flower. It looks white with a little bit of pink. It'd be interesting to groundlayer the branch to see if we can get a competitor to the encore azaleas, hehe. image.jpeg
 
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#35
I've been three times already in the last couple of weeks!! Worked through more than a dozen trees already and still a few to go:)
 
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#36
I did see some of them have had their nebari inspected:). I was able to squeeze 11 plants in my small suv. They'll be very well taken care of lanscape trees 'till next season.
 
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