satuski care?

biglou13

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I have a few satsuki azaleas, 2 chizan, 1 amagasa. Ive been really enjoying their spring show.

I realize my care for them has been pure hypothesis and conjecture.

I'm growing these out in air pots (rootmaker), and nursery pots for now. Ive been feeding them every other week or so with dilute miracle grow, MG acid, they received a shot of iron with occasional foliage spray in am. They seem to be doing fine so far.

One I de budded, to increase strength.

Since the root systems tend to stay shallow I opted for larger grow pots.

What else should i be doing? (I live in fla, formosa azaleas grow like weeds here.)

I'm very much a greenhorn when it comes to azaleas. so any advice would be appreciated.
 

Harunobu

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1) show us pictures
2) get some more with variegated flowers.

I think most people, including the Japanese, use cottonseed cake as slow releasing organic fertilizer. The Japanese call it 'abura kasa' or 'oil cake'. I know NA azalea people like to use Miracid too.

Sounds like you aren't overfertilizing.
Another thing not to do is fertilize while in flower.
Also, keep out of rain when they flower. Then obvious things like don't overwater and don't have the rooball dry out in full summer afternoon sun.

Then snap off the flowers at the fruit base to prevent seed from setting. If seed does set, please send them to me.

Satsuki have nicer leaves than the Formosa and the other southern indica R.simsii azalea. And I think those start by flowering right away. rather than first putting out only new growth. But otherwise, they don't differ very much in care.
 

jk_lewis

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Another thing not to do is fertilize while in flower.

That doesn't matter; it's another bonsai old wives tale. They've expended all their energy in making the flowers, and if you remove them completely as they wilt, there's no nergy spent trying to make seeds and the fertilizer will strengthen the plant.

All rain on flowers do is hasten the wilting. Thre's no long-term damage.
 

Harunobu

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This is what azalea people believe. I think the reason not to fertile during flowering is because it is not needed and azaleas shouldn't be given too much fertilizer.

As for rain, it is probably to reduce the risk of fungal diseases affecting the petals.

If these are true has to be tested experimentally. But I don't see any old wives tales here.


It has nothing to do with the energy already being depleted because the flower buds already developed. But an azalea having flowers does still put stress on it by requiring more water than usual.
 

jk_lewis

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This is what azalea people believe. I think the reason not to fertile during flowering is because it is not needed and azaleas shouldn't be given too much fertilizer.

As for rain, it is probably to reduce the risk of fungal diseases affecting the petals.

If these are true has to be tested experimentally. But I don't see any old wives tales here.

It has nothing to do with the energy already being depleted because the flower buds already developed. But an azalea having flowers does still put stress on it by requiring more water than usual.

Well, I'm a bit of an "azalea people." And I do not "believe" it. As far as fertilizer goes, azaleas "need" no more or no less than any other bonsai, and bonsai should be fertilized sparingly in any event once they're in a showable state.

If you are allowing an azalea to flower (every other year) it has everything to do with the energy needed to produce the buds and to get them to flower. Once they've opened, little or no energy is expended until they start trying to make seeds, which is why you should remove blooms as soon as they start to wilt so that they don't require any more energy trying to keep their gene pool filled.

I'm afraid that bonsai is filled with old wives tales and horticultural myths. Its history goes back quite a ways before anything like horticultural science existed in any real sense, and we in the west have more or less blindly followed the methods the Japanese developed by trial and error. Those worked well enough, but often not for the reasons the Japanese thought and sometimes they work in spite of themselves. Continuing to follow them is silly -- and often wasteful -- though it seldom hurts anything drastically.
 

Harunobu

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Where did this ever go into letting an azalea flower and the energy needed to develop flower buds and if this energy can be retained by removing buds just before they open?

If one believes energy is burned by flowering one would fertilize more during flowering, not less. This is of course incorrect on several account, but has some inherent logic.


Maybe azalea need just as much as bonsai, but bonsai aren't your average garden shrub. Azaleas are not trees so it is unfair to compare them with pines or maples. I believe they require less fertilizer than other flowering shrubs. Their natural habitat isn't the most rich in nutrition either, so that seems to add up.

I don't believe an azalea will be harmed when it is fertilized when in flower, so go ahead I guess.
 
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I was told that the reason not to give Azealas nitrogen rich fertilizer when flowering has nothing to do with the health or energy expenditure, but Only to suppress excessive vegetative growth, which could obscure the flowers, making them seem embedded rather than silhouetted
 

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