Prolonging azalea blooms

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Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  kite-eating bonsai tree on Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:20 pm

hello all,

frequent reader here / infrequent poster Embarassed … a tip of the hat to all who generously contribute their time & knowledge here. Smile

my (mostly pre-bonsai) azaleas are blooming a second round (much to my surprise). even though i am presently only growing the trees out, i have resisted my better judgement to nip these new buds off & just enjoy the flowers. (i promise not to induldge next summer, haha).

i'd like to confirm the following points (i realize that certain cultivars can/will behave differently from the ‘norm’). any additional tips are appreciated.

in general, to prolong the blooms on azaleas:
a) water at the soil level instead of overhead (while the plant is in bloom)
b) avoid placing the azaleas where the hotter mid-day sun may strike directly
c) pinch off dying blooms soon after fading

basically, i’m very curious to confirm if over-head watering is a major contributor to shortening the lifespan of azalea blooms (under ideal conditions, blooms can last up to three weeks?)


thanks to all,
rick

kite-eating bonsai tree
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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:25 pm

kite-eating bonsai tree wrote:basically, i’m very curious to confirm if over-head watering is a major contributor to shortening the lifespan of azalea blooms
Yes.

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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  ironhorse on Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:13 pm

Don't know that it's relevant, but my ancient garden azalea has new buds on it too - we have had some weird weather here in the UK this year..but, if I water it at all (rarely given the recent summers here) it gets a thorough drenching with the hosepipe like the rest of the plants and that doesn't seem to have any adverse effect, usually done though early evening to avoid scorching the leaves.

Dave

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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  John Quinn on Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:21 am

Before flowering, I will spray the buds with Immunox Plus, an aerosol fungicide and insecticide. I actually spray a few times each year as they are also prone to lace bug, etc. Along with keeping the flowers relatively dry, I think it helps prolong healthy looking blooms here in humid SC.

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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:55 pm


John Quinn wrote:Before flowering, I will spray the buds with Immunox Plus, an aerosol fungicide and insecticide. I actually spray a few times each year as they are also prone to lace bug, etc. Along with keeping the flowers relatively dry, I think it helps prolong healthy looking blooms here in humid SC.

Good advice John.

In Kanuma we always sprayed the blooming satsuki being displayed with a fungicide for petal blight. Good air circulation, keeping the flowers dry and removing the fading blooms is crucial. During the Satsuki Festival we'd spend hours going over each bonsai every evening removing old flowers as the trees were being displayed for an entire week. LOTS of work.

R

Just had another thought... Since you're in LA humidity obviously isn't a contributing factor - but I can't help but wonder if the lack of humidity is. I would think that keeping the flowers out of the sun would be #1 for you. No overhead watering just seems like common sense, doesn't it?

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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  TheMulletRapper on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:13 am

Hi Russ!
One of the most important things in keeping blooms alive for a long time is to protect them from petal blight as early as possible. In addition to good cultural practices, this includes keeping them in a screened environment if it is a plant you especially prize or wish to show. (The blight is often carried by pollinating insects). Keeping them cooler helps, too. For cut blooms, completely submerge them in water (put in jar, fill, cap, invert).
That said, the plant is better off if the blooms are pinched off after a few weeks.
My take on long-blooming is to keep varieities that bloom across a long span of the season. There are tables in several satsuki books.
There is also a variety that keeps "blooms" all summer. They are really the calyxes of the plant, pinkish. if you really want to know it, I can probably look it up. It's cute, but not all that cute.
I continue to look for hobbyists who are propagating satsuki.... need starter plants.

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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:38 pm

TheMulletRapper wrote: There is also a variety that keeps "blooms" all summer. They are really the calyxes of the plant, pinkish. if you really want to know it, I can probably look it up. It's cute, but not all that cute.
I continue to look for hobbyists who are propagating satsuki.... need starter plants.


Thanks, but no need to look it up. It's 'chojuho', I have it.

R

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Re: Prolonging azalea blooms

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