The question is why plant it in this?
Absolutely not. Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossilized sea creatures (which have high carbonate content). It is neutral to alkaline pH.
Azaleas are acid-loving plants, requiring acid pH. Planting them in this stuff would probably kill them.
Straight diatomaceous earth really has no role as a bonsai soil. It's simply not functional as such.
Diatomae are algae whose cell wall is made of silica. It is thus neutral to acidic with low buffer capacity, and safe to grow azaleas inside provided that particle size is OK and (because of the low buffer capacity) your water is not hard or that you have something to compensate for alcalinity from the water (acidic fertilizer or peat for example).
Suthin says that if it is planted in kanuma, find more to repot it, if it is not, then use acadama, and peat.
I've used a combo of calcined D.E. and pine bark "fines" for the past 3 growing seasons and have great looking trees. Calcined D.E. from Napa auto parts store. I use a 1:1 ratio.
Ive been using the same stuff from Napa auto parts, I planted my mugo pine in a mixture of D.E. and pine bark about 3 months ago and the tree is doing fine.I used a 2:1 ratio though. I have a free supply of pine bark as I have a wooded area behind my house with a couple of fallen pine trees. Im glad to know that there is someone else out there that uses D.E. Am I to understand that you have azaleas planted in this medium?
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