At the June 2016 BASA (Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai) meeting club members were led by Bob Gould in post-flowering care of their satsuki azaleas. The following is some of the excellent advice Bob shared:
- Remove spent flowers as soon as they wilt and any new shoots that develop after blooming ends.
- After the tree finishes flowering, it is important to remove all the dead flowers at the flower’s base, to prevent the tree from forming seed pods. This will also encourage new leaves.
- Feed the plant after flowering, through September.
- Keep azalea bonsai outside in partial shade. The best site is one that receives morning sun and afternoon shade, giving it the right amount of light, while protecting it from overheating and sunburn.
- To keep your satsuki azaleas healthy remove any dead flowers and leaves immediately.
- To enhance the overall structure of the tree it is important that yearly growth be removed or trained as soon as the flowering season ends. Any secondary shoots should be pruned in midsummer.
- Azaleas respond well to hard pruning and if pruned back to a stump after flowering will bud-back prolifically and can be shaped in just about any bonsai style.
- Watch carefully for insects and pests and treat accordingly.
- Water as needed, but not too much. Keep humidity high if possible.
– Notes and photos provided by George Haas