Collected Satsuki Azalea

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Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:01 pm

Hello everyone its been awhile since my last post. I collected this Azalea in early march from an overgrown garden. I reduced the root mass a little more than half before putting it in this larger pot to grow awhile. This Azalea was also chewed by the deer as pictured. The way it appears in the picture is pretty much the way it looked when collected. I didnt want to remove any branches due to the severe damage done by the deer. My question is should I pinch off the flower buds this year to save energy and promote more budding or should I just let it all grow out. This is my first Azalea bonsai so any tips would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Abe




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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  JimLewis on Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:17 pm

I'd get rid of that large branch that goes off to the left and probably those others right near it). Nice find.

As for the flower buds, the plant has already expended the energy to make them. Little energy is used when they bloom. However, since there are NO leaves to speak of, it's probably better to remove them. Fertilize it heavily with an acid fertilizer - Miracle Gro Azalea food.

I would have liked to see a bit more organic material in the soil. Azalea don't do too well in 100% inorganic "soil."

Good luck.

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Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:14 pm

Jim,
thanks for the information. This is my first Azalea. I agree with the removal of the large lower branch, however I didn't want to do to much right away. The soil is 3 pars gravel, 1 part turface, 1-1.5 parts mature pine bark, and 1/2 part Canadian peat. Is there anything I should no about prunning Azalea's. Should I cut it all the way back, or gradually? I will also pick up some of that fertilizer.
Thanks again,
Abe

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:03 pm

Thanks for all the valuable information. This is an excellent website!!!! AAA+++

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:22 am

Azalea branches are best cut back leaving a stub. Then rub off any regrowth from that stub, so that the sap pathways die back naturally over a year and no sap withdrawal below the branch occurs. I've always done this following the advice in Alex Kennedy's book and never had a problem.

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  JimLewis on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:57 pm

Over here, both of Kennedy's books -- "Satsuki" and "Floral Treasures of Japan" -- are (or were) available at www.stonelantern.com. Stone Lantern also carries Robert Z. Callaham's "Satsuki Azaleas for Bonsai and Azalea Enthusiasts."

I'd cut that big left-hand branch now, and as per Kev's instructions about the stub. No sense it expending any of its limited energy on sprouts on that branch. There are lots of others.

Good luck.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:28 pm

Updated Photos,
Thanks for all the help. I have decided to let it grow out for the season and regain its strength. I have removed all the dead and unwanted branches (not any major branches yet). Really excited at how well it has developed in such a short period of time. It was collected with only two leaves after the deer got to it during last winter.
Here are some updated pictures.
Abe


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Last edited by easternbonsai on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  DreadyKGB on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:37 pm

Abe,
your azalea is looking very good for its first season. I like the strong, short trunk. Good luck with the further progression.

Todd

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  Kev Bailey on Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:36 pm

Very happy to see that this one made it. You've got a great little trunk there. Keep up the feed and plan for a dramatic prune next spring.

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

Post  63pmp on Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:39 am

One important thing with satzuki is that they are surface feeders, its very important to have a damp layer of something, a mulch of some sort, on the surface of the soil. So that the fine feeder roots don't dry out.

Paul

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Re: Collected Satsuki Azalea

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