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Big Azalea - Clump style?
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Author:  Koren [ 27 Nov 2017, 18:47 ]
Post subject:  Big Azalea - Clump style?

Picked this up along with a Maple Dissectum and another Azalea from Ebay. It's big and heavy like the others. Anyone able to ID the type of Azalea? It looks like my Satsukis (I need to stop buying Azaleas). Is the foliage normal or is it unhealthy? None of my others go that colour in the winter. This one I'm wondering whether it's a good candidate for bonsai or whether I should just plant it in the ground as a garden plant. It's also apparently likely to be root bound. Any thoughts or opinions?

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Full album: https://imgur.com/a/JJv5A

360° https://youtu.be/GSpwnJjgTLA

Author:  Gary Jones [ 28 Nov 2017, 00:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

Not sure it's looking too healthy. Could it be the soil conditions? From what I can see the trunks are not that big so maybe selection of a primary trunk line and some thickening are in order unless you want to go with a clump - certainly a quicker route.

Author:  Brendan [ 28 Nov 2017, 10:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

I think that is in very poor soil. I'd get it into a fairly large pot with good soil and let it recover for a season or 2.

Author:  Koren [ 28 Nov 2017, 10:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

Gary Jones wrote:
Not sure it's looking too healthy. Could it be the soil conditions? From what I can see the trunks are not that big so maybe selection of a primary trunk line and some thickening are in order unless you want to go with a clump - certainly a quicker route.


Yeah, I did wonder about its health. Maybe I should go easy on it next year? I was thinking it pretty much had to be a clump, but maybe I will have a rethink when I repot (if I should repot it in spring).


Brendan wrote:
I think that is in very poor soil. I'd get it into a fairly large pot with good soil and let it recover for a season or 2.


Hmmm, you both mentioned soil, maybe that's it then. The lady I bought it from did mention about a specific soil but it's not something I'd heard of before. Should I use Kanuma? Or can I get away with Sanicat? Maybe a mix of the two?

Author:  Gary Jones [ 28 Nov 2017, 16:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

Kanuma is the standard recommended soil for Azaleas and with rain water rather than tap water (avoiding limescale). I've tended to use it neat but many people mix it 50/50 with other neutral substrates.

Author:  Koren [ 28 Nov 2017, 16:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

I've used Kanuma neat up until this point for my small Azaleas, but I imagine it could get expensive for these two big'uns! I think I'll try a mix. I have a water butt to collect rainwater, so I try to use butt water as much as possible but it usually runs dry between rainy days (who'd have guessed that we don't get enough rain in England!) so I have to resort to the hose occasionally. I do try to reserve the butt water for azaleas if it starts running out though.

Author:  Koren [ 21 Apr 2018, 19:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

I repotted this in late winter, perhaps a bit too early, but It's looking a lot healthier now, and is about to bloom. Repot was into 50% kanuma 50% Sanicat, and I removed maybe 50% of the original root mass. I didn't get a lot combed/hosed out as it was pretty dense and I got scared lol. I lost an azalea last year by pruning it after flowering - I pruned it pretty hard, and it was late in the year by the time flowering was done which probably didn't help. Reckon this is likely to be ready for a hard prune? Or better to give it another year? I think it will be a clump, with a cascadey bit perhaps (although not too low, I don't like cascades all that much). The chop marks you can see were earlier in the year, just removing dead branches and stumps.

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Author:  darreng [ 21 Apr 2018, 20:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

It looks much healthier so, good job on the horticulture.

From the pictures it’s not clear how far you got removing the original soil from the surface in search of the root spread. Assuming you didn’t get very far due to dense fibrous root at the surface, I recommend that you delay any hard decisions until next repot. At that time you can investigate the root spread and whether you have several trunks coming from the root mass direct, or a single trunk that quickly divides.

I’m sure you have noticed already but nursery’s tend to pot them low in the soil. Azalea will readily send roots from nodes on buried trunks. So any tentative poking around might not give an accurate idea what’s going on in the plants nether regions.

From what I can see, in terms of tree form, it would make an excellent semi-cascade. I’m not a massive fan of them either. But that azalea really wants to be one!

Author:  Sizzla [ 21 Apr 2018, 22:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

Wow what a difference. This will be a cracker

Author:  Koren [ 22 Apr 2018, 13:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Azalea - Clump style?

Thanks, that's very useful. I didn't get very far with the surface roots, they're all so fine it seems like it'd be impossible to not damage them. Might see if I can get help with this one next year at repotting time.

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