Outdoor Satsuki Azalea

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I recently received an outdoor satsuki azalea bonsai as a gift as a sympathy gift from a friend. It was ordered from FTD.
I have added photos.
I have no idea how to take care of one so I'm looking for advice.
I live in Southern California - 20 mins away from the beach if that helps with the weather. The temperature gets to high of 80 F these days with a low of 50s F. I live in an apartment.

It says it’s an outdoor plant but I don’t know where to place it outdoors.

Questions
1. General care tips especially given my location and living situation - if outdoors or indoors, how much sunlight does it need?
2. If indoors, will it attract insects? If so, best solution.
3. Fertilizer suggestions and how often.

I would really appreciate any and all help with this. I have read and heard that Bonsais tend to live a long life and I’m hoping I can take good care of it.

Thank You. image.jpgimage.jpg
 
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I realize you put that infor in your post...
I updated my account with the information you requested as well. I had just created a new account to ask for help, tried to include as much detail as possible in the post. Thanks.
 

bunjin

Mame
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1. Not at all an indoor plant. Hopefully you have an outdoor deck or patio for it.
2. Avoid full sun exposure, especially in the L.A. area as the temperatures are high in summer.
3. Moisture control is the the key to longevity as the most common error is to overwater.
4. Repotting about every two years is more important than fertilization.
Visit Nuccio's if you get a chance as you can observe their ideal growing conditions. Best of luck.
 

Linn01

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Congratulations with your first tree. The start of an addiction.

Belongs outdoor, likes morning and evening sun. Do not keep it indoors.

repot in spring, is best to work with acidic kanuma soil,

pruning after flowering (end of june), cut back new growth to 2/3 leaf pairs

reduce forks of branches from same spot to 2/3 branches

 

Huggz13

Mame
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Azaleas are as common as mosquitos here in NW Florida... they’re everywhere.

As @Linn01 said, they require acidic soil. Don’t discount the importance of that or it won’t thrive.
 

penumbra

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To begin with, you don't have a bonsai, you have an azalea in a bonsai pot. Conditions described by other posters are adequate regardless of whether you want to grow it as a bonsai or as an azalea in a pot. Nothing wrong with either choice but you need to decide. I would never personally recommend an azalea as a bonsai for a beginner, but of course it is possible. Ask yourself, do I want this plant to thrive and grow for years to come? Or, do I want to train this azalea into a bonsai?
 

Deep Sea Diver

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First and foremost, Welcome aboard BonsaiNut! Thanks for asking about your new satsuki. As you can see we are a helpful, sometimes colorful lot. 😎

First, I’d start out by seconding exactly what @bunjin said…. He’s a great resource in SoCal.

I see you live in the vicinity of Anaheim an apartment. Do you have a balcony? If so what direction does it face… as you look outside?

Balconies can be viable places to grow bonsai if set up correctly, bench, screening and or other shield etc.

There is a good starting resource if you are intent on starting bonsai with azaleas, which I did myself. Right here on our site. Download it using the button that comes up on your right.

In addition there are a number of bonsai clubs in your neck of the woods. One is in Anaheim... as well as a bonsai store in Fountain Valley that can give you more in depth, face to face training and advice on satsuki bonsai.

cheers
DSD sends
 

penumbra

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Please understand that my reply was only meant in a positive way .... in my rather direct manner.
Only point is to be sure that a bonsai is what you want and are prepared for.
I'd rather have a live azalea than a dead bonsai.
 

Shibui

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Half a day of sun if possible. Less if your location is really hot or exposed. Avoid hot afternoon sun.
Azaleas do have a number of pests and diseases hence the negative recommendation for beginners. Watch for browning or silvery leaves.
Azaleas do not like to get dry. The soil does need to dry out marginally between watering but avoid bone dry. In warmer weather a small pot may need watering twice a day but so much depends on the pot, soil, location that you must check regularly and water as needed.
Fertilize every 2-3 weeks. As mentioned azaleas require acid soil. Many water supplies are alkaline and over time can make the soil unsuitable so many growers use an acidic fertilizer to counteract the water. "Miracid' is one I see mentioned regularly here for that purpose.

Best of luck with the new bonsai. You're stuck with one that's a little more difficult so if the worst happens try again with something a little tougher and easy to manage.
 

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