Sun-scorched azalea

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Sun-scorched azalea

Post  CityofTrees on Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:47 pm

Hello all, I am very new to bonsai but not new to growing plants and have been studying feverishly and reading as much as I can. I have bought far too many plants far too quickly, all still in the training/development stage ranging from 1-5 gallon pots. One small plant I have in a one-gallon pot is one of my favorites (all are my favorite of course), a satzuki azalea "ron kuzon" it already has very beautiful small dark green glossy leaves and small pink flowers that seem very fitting for bonsai. It also has some very nice nebari characteristics that I was glad to find at the nursery while digging around the topsoil with my finger bounce Needless to say I was pretty disappointed when after being gone for a week (had my friend take care of my plants) to come back and find my little azalea with all it's leaves brown and dry and the container feeling like almost nothing.

So I'm wondering, how do I save my little azalea? I don't know if it dried out and that's why the leaves died, or if I left it in too much direct sunlight. I can post some pics if needed, basically all leaf growth is brown and dead dry. I picked most of it off and now I think I should cut it back a little bit to promote growth. Is this what I should do? Or just leave it? How much should I cut off? Do you guys think it's dead already or probably living? Thanks for any help!!

CityofTrees
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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  0soyoung on Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:58 pm

If it isn't dead, it will send out some new sprouts - just don't let it go bone dry again.

I would keep the soil damp and I would leave it in full sun as this seems to help with budding. You should be able to see little green dots on the stems in a few weeks. Once you do, you probably should shift it to shade because may have also lost a lot of its roots. Keeping it in shade will help to prevent the new leaves from emerging and promptly dessicating (which will almost certainly kill it). You can slowly reintroduce it to full/part sun after it has a new set of leaves. On the other hand, if you don't see any sprouts in the next few weeks ... well, you know.

BTW, it may take a couple of years to get back to where it was before you trusted your neighbor.

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  CityofTrees on Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:48 pm

0soyoung wrote:If it isn't dead, it will send out some new sprouts - just don't let it go bone dry again.

I would keep the soil damp and I would leave it in full sun as this seems to help with budding. You should be able to see little green dots on the stems in a few weeks. Once you do, you probably should shift it to shade because may have also lost a lot of its roots. Keeping it in shade will help to prevent the new leaves from emerging and promptly dessicating (which will almost certainly kill it). You can slowly reintroduce it to full/part sun after it has a new set of leaves. On the other hand, if you don't see any sprouts in the next few weeks ... well, you know.

BTW, it may take a couple of years to get back to where it was before you trusted your neighbor.


Hi Oso, thanks very much for the quick and informative reply. This is the first thread I've posted and wasn't sure what to expect.

That is my fear, that it will take a long while to get back to where it was before I had my friend take care of them. Not as great as my fear of it being dead, of course. I should have known better than to have a non plant-lover looking after them but my options were limited. Others are suffering too but not like my azalea.

I do see some green in the stems and they're still flexible so I'm hoping there's still some life left. I think you are right about it losing a lot of it's roots, I have been keeping the soil damp as you said (watering every 5-6 days in my temps) and it's losing water much slower than before. Though this could be due to the lack of leaves to transpire at the moment. I'll have to move it in to fuller light, now I have it in almost full shade as I assumed this would be the best course of action in it's crippled state a couple weeks ago. It does make sense about the sun promoting buds popping up so I'll definitely do that today. Once leaves emerge I'll move it to a shady spot so I don't lose those too. So it doesn't sound like you suggest cutting it back at all even slightly?

Here's to hoping I see some buds pop up in the next few weeks!!  Neutral 

-Garrett

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  0soyoung on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:34 pm

I don't prune until after things have at least budded - the tree will tell you what is dead.

Best wishes

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  CityofTrees on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:59 pm

0soyoung wrote:I don't prune until after things have at least budded - the tree will tell you what is dead.

Best wishes


I'll stick to that then, thanks again!!

-Garrett

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  bruce muhlbaier on Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:42 pm

the satsuki was probably potted in peat moss ,when dry it will repeal water so best to soak in bucket of water until in feels heavy and soaks up water then place in filtered sun not our direct sun.it will still bud out again and do not give up on it keep moist.i live about 1 hour or so above you a raise satsukis.i keep my satsuki in alot of sun but we have very dry and hot air.be on the save side since it was fried and keep out of full sun.i have around 80+ variety's and Kazan (the real name) is a strong grower.

Bruce

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  CityofTrees on Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:00 pm

bruce muhlbaier wrote:the satsuki was probably potted in peat moss ,when dry it will repeal water so best to soak in bucket of water until in feels heavy and soaks up water then place in filtered sun not our direct sun.it will still bud out again and do not give up on it keep moist.i live about 1 hour or so above you a raise satsukis.i keep my satsuki in alot of sun but we have very dry and hot air.be on the save side since it was fried and keep out of full sun.i have around 80+ variety's and Kazan (the real name) is a strong grower.

Bruce


Hi Bruce, thanks for the response and helpful information. It's funny you said you soak the pot in a bucket of water to make sure the soil is thoroughly saturated, I just did that this morning. I did put it in pretty direct morning sun though so I'll have to move it in to more filtered light, as you suggested.

Thanks for letting me know the actual name of the satsuki variety that I'm raising "Kazan" and that it is a strong grower. I looked it up and it does have those really beautiful and small pink flowers. So it sounds like you have some Kazan azaleas? How does it do as a bonsai, is there a form that it lends itself well to? I'm seen some beautiful Kazan's trained as informal upright as well as exposed root. That's also very good to know you live so close and have success with so many varieties of azalea. Do you raise these satsukis for yourself or do you sell them? I'd very much like to see your operation someday!! Thanks again for the response!  Smile

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  bruce muhlbaier on Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:40 pm

i have been growing satsukis  for25+ years .there is a satsuki bonsai club in Sacramento that meets on Monday night that i use to belong to and sell azaleas at there show .i no longer could make the drive to the meetings at night for health reasons but still keep in contact with members.the club is off for the summer and starts back up in the fall. still have 300 or more that i would be willing to sell.you are welcome to come up any time and i will show you what i do.
Kazan is a nice one,back in 86 i planted 10 or so in the ground along with kingsville boxwood they now have around 3"  trunks and was going to dig up this spring but with health problems never got to it.i also make exposed root azaleas,good sellers.
Bruce

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

Post  CityofTrees on Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:19 pm

bruce muhlbaier wrote:i have been growing satsukis  for25+ years .there is a satsuki bonsai club in Sacramento that meets on Monday night that i use to belong to and sell azaleas at there show .i no longer could make the drive to the meetings at night for health reasons but still keep in contact with members.the club is off for the summer and starts back up in the fall. still have 300 or more that i would be willing to sell.you are welcome to come up any time and i will show you what i do.
Kazan is a nice one,back in 86 i planted 10 or so in the ground along with kingsville boxwood they now have around 3"  trunks and was going to dig up this spring but with health problems never got to it.i also make exposed root azaleas,good sellers.
Bruce

That's very kind of you, I'll definitely take you up on that offer to visit in the near future. I would love to see what you do, and would be in heaven around that many azaleas!! I have heard of that bonsai club here in Sacramento, I'll look in to it and join when they start back up. Sorry to hear about the health problems and them preventing you from traveling to sac and working on some of your plants. Perhaps I could help with a few things on my visit as a thanks for your hospitality! I'm always willing to work and learn some  thumbs up 

25+ years is a long time to grow anything, I respect that very much and hope to be there some day. I'm sure there's much to be learned from a person with your experience. I'm also very glad to hear that Kazan is a good one, it just looked so delicate and perfect with it's small dark glossy leaves and small flowers, I couldn't resist adding it to my collection. I suppose we'll see how patient I am waiting 25 years for that 3-inch trunk Smile how tall and wide are these one's with 3-inch trunks? Did you have to grow them out pretty large to get that caliper or kept them relatively small? Those exposed root azaleas are pretty cool, I could see myself having some of them. Thanks again for the help!!

Garrett

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Re: Sun-scorched azalea

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