Azaleas acquired, tips tricks and general info about them appreciated!!

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Location
Ogden Utah, United States
USDA Zone
5
I was out buying some groceries and my general store had some azaleas on sale... (The flowers caught my attention)

I've been told that azaleas are very beginner friendly and given the sale... And the fact I needed a smaller pot for my poor poor Sequoia...

I purchased one, I did quickly examine them and although none had very interesting base this one looked the healthiest and had not fully bloomed yet.

That being said id love some tips and suggestion for the three trees (especially repot info as I plan on putting them in the large hanging pot I currently have my Sequoia in and trading their pots out based on suggestions)

I know these love acidic soils and the fertilizer will very much influence them but I would love any resources on these, I want to try and learn everything there is to know about them (specifically from this form as it seems every other resource has been teaching me wrong up to this point)

Next paycheck will be spent on bulk bonsai soil.

Also there was nothing about it's cultivar... This impulse purchase was almost certainly a mistake 😅
 

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These plants are kind of intended to be thrown away once the blooms are gone. It is a temporary house plant. They can survive outdoors. They can handle a few degree below 0C. They are Belgian indica azaleas.
Yes, they come with 3 to 5 cuttings inside a single pot. It is hard to separate them.

This will be much more challenging to create something nice from than an azalea that is already kind of set up for bonsai. On top of that, you have the Utah climate.
 
Hi @dr.tenebris !

A pretty azalea is never a bad purchase! That being said, it is best to find one with one single trunk instead of three small trunks. I kind of doubt this one will be a good bonsai project but who knows? Perhaps it could turn into something you like.

Azaleas have roots that grow quite close to the soil surface, so when you work on the roots try not to dig too deeply into them. They like to spread their roots out rather than grow down, so they like a shallower, larger pot than you might think. Their bark is easily scarred so when you work on them, use cut paste to seal the cuts. and try not to damage the bark nearby to your work. Cut branches will usually die back a bit so make your cuts with that in mind. I need to fertilize with an acid fertilizer like MirAcid, or Espoma Holly Tone or mine show signs of chlorosis.

These are just a few hints that I have learned; perhaps others with more experience will pop in.
 
These plants are kind of intended to be thrown away once the blooms are gone. It is a temporary house plant. They can survive outdoors. They can handle a few degree below 0C. They are Belgian indica azaleas.
Yes, they come with 3 to 5 cuttings inside a single pot. It is hard to separate them.

This will be much more challenging to create something nice from than an azalea that is already kind of set up for bonsai. On top of that, you have the Utah climate.
That's very true.... I'm thinking about planting them outside after a hard prune... And yeah Utah is absolutely wild there is no standard weather here so it's definitely going to have a lot of challenges...

Do azaleas tend to do well with hard cut backs?
I know pruning will come around may-june right?
 
It is very likely to die in zone 6. They are zone 9 or zone 8 plants. Zone 7 is too cold. This cultivar has been a greenhouse plant for maybe 150 years, none of their ancestors having lived outdoors.
 
It is very likely to die in zone 6. They are zone 9 or zone 8 plants. Zone 7 is too cold. This cultivar has been a greenhouse plant for maybe 150 years, none of their ancestors having lived outdoors.
Yikes 😬 good thing I asked for advice, I had seen most posts saying it would be fine outside... Still I have some nice wide pots and I can remake my window seal for these fellas have some heaters to keep them from getting too cold (for now)

I'll need to improve me indoor heating for winter

Probably let the smallest one grow a bit more the other two will get a decent chop back so they can thicken up.

Do they respond Well to wiring? I think someone mentioned they have fragile bark?
 
Yikes 😬 good thing I asked for advice, I had seen most posts saying it would be fine outside... Still I have some nice wide pots and I can remake my window seal for these fellas have some heaters to keep them from getting too cold (for now)

I'll need to improve me indoor heating for winter

Probably let the smallest one grow a bit more the other two will get a decent chop back so they can thicken up.

Do they respond Well to wiring? I think someone mentioned they have fragile bark?

It will be fine to okish outside, as long as you put it inside a pot so you can bring it to a protected unheated spot during severe cold spell. There's one guy that is also in Utah who has a similar azalea, so just follow their experience.
Since you mentioned 'I'm thinking about planting them outside' I assumed you'd mean planting them out in the garden as opposed to repotting them.

No, they do not wire well. You can only wire them when they are young. They are quite brittle. So any growth older than say 3 years will be very hard to impossible to bend.
You wouldn't be able to put new movement in the main part of these trunks. But you can wire up the straight sidebranches. But you have to be careful wiring then because of their brittle nature.

There's a very long video on Youtube about wiring azaleas by some Japanese experts that has English subs. We discussed it here:

So that would be your deep dive into wiring azaleas, if you ever need one.
 
It will be fine to okish outside, as long as you put it inside a pot so you can bring it to a protected unheated spot during severe cold spell. There's one guy that is also in Utah who has a similar azalea, so just follow their experience.
Since you mentioned 'I'm thinking about planting them outside' I assumed you'd mean planting them out in the garden as opposed to repotting them.

No, they do not wire well. You can only wire them when they are young. They are quite brittle. So any growth older than say 3 years will be very hard to impossible to bend.
You wouldn't be able to put new movement in the main part of these trunks. But you can wire up the straight sidebranches. But you have to be careful wiring then because of their brittle nature.

There's a very long video on Youtube about wiring azaleas by some Japanese experts that has English subs. We discussed it here:

So that would be your deep dive into wiring azaleas, if you ever need one.
Excellent! So cut and grow is going to be the primary way to put movement in.

Wire young branches when they sprout and read through the detailed thread! Wonderful!!
 
Out of all my trees the azaleas are the biggest water snobs which eventually lead me to just collecting rain water at this point but definitely look into what kinda water they need but they definitely don’t like chlorine from tap water that’s for sure
 
Out of all my trees the azaleas are the biggest water snobs which eventually lead me to just collecting rain water at this point but definitely look into what kinda water they need but they definitely don’t like chlorine from tap water that’s for sure
Guess I'll walk to the river to collect buckets 🤔 might work out
 
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