Satsuki Azalea

Family: Ericacea

Genus: Rhododendron

Specie: Rhododendron Indicum

Botanical Name: Satsuki Azalea

 

Satsuki Azaleas are native to Japan and originate from the Rhododendron indicum specie, which is part of the Rhododendron genus (Rhododendron is a genus of over a thousand species). Satsuki Azalea produce small glossy dark green leaves, which are appreciated in Bonsai art. However, what makes azaleas so popular are the magnificent flowers that this specimen produces during the summer in a variety of colours (white, pink, red and purple).

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Style

This plant material is suitable for all formal and informal styles.

 

Location and Position

Satsuki Azaleas enjoy semi shade expositions. It needs protection from the sun, rain and wind, which could easily contribute to the deterioration of the beautiful flowers. This specimen tolerates light frost, but it needs some shelter during the winter.

 

Watering

Satsuki Azalea will require soft water (rain water) as it can’t tolerate lime deposits in soil, or it will perish. Soil must be kept moist at all times as this shrub dislike drought.

 

Feeding

Use fertiliser for ericaceous plants every two weeks from the growth period until flowering (feed needs to be suspended during this period). After flowering, return to feed once a month until autumn.

 

Pruning and Pinching

As soon the flower petals start to wilt, remove the central ovular stem to prevent fungal issues and avoid exhaustion. Structural pruning can be addressed after flowering. Pinching needs to be moderate during summer or it will cause no flowering for the following year.

 

Repotting and Soil

Repot every two years after flowering or as soon as the roots fill the pots. Use lime free soil such as ericaceous compost or Kanuma.

 

Wiring

Attention is required as branches are very brittle and can easily snap. To avoid scars, I prefer to wire in autumn.

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