Azalea Bonsai – Bonsai in Bloom

Azalea, or Rhododendron as they are sometimes known, is one of the most common of the flowering Bonsai Plants. Hybrids are also suitable and these should not be discounted when deciding on an Azalea Bonsai although the Satkuz and Kurume Azaleas are the most popular choices, all azalea species will withstand root pruning and continue to produce new buds. Producing colourful flowers that bloom annually, they are indeed a magnificent bonsai specimen. 

Azaleas are deciduous trees found around North America, South West China, Tibet, Burma, North India and New Guinea. They are equally happy in a dense forest or a frozen wonderland depending on your chosen variety. Azalea Bonsai do not like to be constantly wet so they should not be watered daily however the soil needs to remain moist. This alone can be the determining factor as to whether the plant lives or dies. 

Azalea Bonsai - Bonsai in Bloom
Azalea Bonsai – Bonsai in Bloom

Azalea Bonsai are outdoor plants that require protection from extreme weather. Growing one indoors for brief periods can be done however if leaves begin to droop, place outdoor in full sun temporarily. They also need to be kept indoors over the harsher winter months.

The shaping of your Azalea Bonsai is really a decision that is entirely yours. The ‘root over rock’ or ‘slanting’ methods are both ideal however the ‘Informal upright’ is the best method for an azalea with multiple trunks as this will allow you a wider range for your creativity to go wild. It is also the style most recommended for beginners. Remember, no matter which style of bonsai you choose to use, have fun with it. There is a multitude of internet sites that can guide you when deciding on which method will be best for you.

Pruning of your Azalea Bonsai should only be done after the removal all of the dead flowers. Once that is done, clip the branches to suit the design of your tree. Wiring can help to train branches to grow in a particular position however be sure to check often that the wire is not damaging the tree. There are specialised fertilizers made specifically for your plant and this should be done fortnightly. Root pruning is also important just prior to the growing cycle to ensure good absorption of nutrients.

The Azalea Bonsai has lance-shaped leaves that range in size. If the leaves on your project tree are too big for bonsai they can be totally removed and new leaves will be smaller. The Azalea is a popular choice due to their spectacular flowers that usually appear either singly or in clusters in spring and can vary greatly in size depending on the species you have chosen. Flowers last longer if your bonsai can be kept cool so protecting them from the midday sun in warmer climates is imperative. When temperatures go beyond 70 degrees, flowers drop soon after opening.

There are numerous plants available that blossom and are suited to bonsai making breathtaking works of art through dedication and commitment. A very rewarding choice indeed when you see your gorgeous Azalea Bonsai in full bloom. With proper care and a bit of love, you will reap the benefits for years to come.