Girards Hot Shot azalea

Japonicus

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After the blooms were spent I cut back to viable branches.

Lifted the coco mat and it has ants as well as these odd, evenly shaped papery deposits.
Are these grass seed hulls or what? Hopefully not eggs of sorts >
DSC_6458.JPG
So this bunch of "seed hulls" was at the joint where the round coco fibre mat comes together atop the soil.

Is this plant worth trying my hand at, at all for bonsai, or just plant it out?
 

shinmai

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After the blooms were spent I cut back to viable branches.

Lifted the coco mat and it has ants as well as these odd, evenly shaped papery deposits.
Are these grass seed hulls or what? Hopefully not eggs of sorts >
View attachment 374409
So this bunch of "seed hulls" was at the joint where the round coco fibre mat comes together atop the soil.

Is this plant worth trying my hand at, at all for bonsai, or just plant it out?

We are on exactly the same path. I bought the same variety, same size and similar trunk, two weeks ago. Blossoms are falling off now. I will PM you pics when I do the cutback and re-pot on mine.
 
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Japonicus

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We are on exactly the same path. I bought the same variety, same size and similar trunk, two weeks ago. Blossoms are falling off now. I will PM you pics when I do the cutback and re-pot on mine.
Was I supposed to repot it too? Actually, I bought this either for bonsai or landscape.
I'm running out of room for either, and I'm not familiar with azalea for bonsai on my bench.
Best of luck
That's rice hulls, it's used as a soil amendment.
Good to know. I've never seen them for sale as an amendment around here
but coming from G&G nursery in Lesage, WV I know they get much of their stock by rail from Oregon
except the local dogwood they grow and supply. Odd that it was concentrated right at the opening
in the coco mat, which is why I thought grass seed. Thought somebody got crazy with a spreader :)
 

shinmai

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You don’t have to repot it now, as long as it drains well. In my experience, nursery rhododendron-type azaleas are very tolerant of simultaneous reduction of the branches and the root mass. Once the blossoms drop, I will be pruning away extraneous branches that will obviously not be part of the eventual design, and getting as close as I can to the general shape and profile that the tree has to offer. I’ll also reduce the root mass enough to get the tree into a plastic grow pot. Personally I don’t obsess about getting rid of all the nursery soil. Instead, I cut the root mass down to fit the grow pot with about one finger-width of room on all sides. I then rinse off what soil I can easily remove, and put the tree in the pot with small-particle kanuma all around. I try to get this done before the solstice, so that the tree has time to settle in and grow some more roots and foliage before the end of autumn. My success rate thus far has been pretty good. Right now I have Karen and Rosebud blooming, and Gerard’s Pleasant White about to do likewise. I have several of the “lights” series of rhododendrons [Mandarin, Northern, Lemon, etc.] leafed out and with blossom buds swelling.
 

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