Azalea Bonsai Care Instructions
Azalea shrubs (Rhododendron spp.) Make versatile bonsai using their growth habit and bountiful blossoms. Azalea grown as bonsai take well to most styles of coaching, with broom style as the exclusion. The shrubs have deciduous or evergreen leaves, depending on the variety. The most frequent azalea for bonsai, the satsuki azalea, has evergreen leaves and blooms in midsummer. No matter the cultivar, azalea bonsai need exactly the same daily focus to thrive.
The most important element of taking care of an azalea bonsai is meeting its water needs. Rainwater works best because azaleas react badly to water containing lime. Your bonsai needs watering every day to keep always moist soil. Letting the soil dry out can permanently damage the azalea. The bonsai also benefits from using its leaves misted.
Keep azalea bonsai out in partial shade. Keeping the tree in a website that receives morning sun and afternoon shade gives it the right amount of light, while protecting it from overheating and bowels.
Azalea bonsai usually need to be repotted every year. Repotting following the tree’s flowers fall works best for this kind of bonsai. Utilize a bonsai potting mix constructed for acid-loving plants. The medium must not comprise any lime and have good drainage properties.
Bonsai potting medium lacks the nutrients that the plants need. Azaleas need a particular fertilizer for the best growth and flowering. An acidic fertilizer given every two weeks until the azalea flowers gives it the nutrients it has to produce the flowers. Feed the plant monthly following flowering, through September.
Pruning and Trimming
Once trained to a specific bonsai contour, azaleas require just maintenance cutting and pruning. Remove spent flowers as soon as they wilt and some other new shoots that develop following blooming ends. Pruning secondary limbs till late July helps the bonsai hold its shape. In the fall, it is possible to trim out the internal leaves to enhance the next season’s flowering.
Insects and Diseases
The azalea bonsai can develop pest and disease problems. Eliminate insects by hand to prevent damage. When you see signs of insects or disease, treat the bonsai with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil following the package directions. A local bonsai club or your county extension service can help identify insects and diseases in your town.
Azalea bonsai need protection in climates where temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. An unheated greenhouse or outbuilding work for overwintering an azalea bonsai. Temperatures above 55 to 60 F can create the shrub to flower early, so the ideal location ranges between 40 and 55 F. The azalea needs less water in the winter, however you shouldn’t let the soil become fully dry.