Thursday, September 19, 2013

Azalea Bonsai

Azalea indica variety
Compared to Azalea bonsai which you see at special shows or illustrated in books, my small one here is a rank amateur, but is proof that Azaleas are fairly easy to grow as bonsai, and, as with the crabapple from the last post they can be moved into a sheltered spot and enjoyed indoors when in flower. The roots on Azaleas are fine and fibrous and can be easily trimmed down to fit a suitable container. Though the small leafed Gumpo (Satsuki) or small flowered  Kurume Azaleas such as the hardy varieties 'Kirin' which is pink and 'Christmas Cheer' which is red are ideal candidates, the larger flowered ones can be trained in a 'cascade' style.
 Often towards the end of the flowering season it is easy to pick up small low priced Azaleas from chain stores which can be used to experiment on as far as pruning goes, trimming off branches to make an interesting shape or wiring to form a miniature "tree". This is the humble origin of the one pictured here.

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