• Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Watering Question of Azaleas

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14548

Hello Everyone,

I got a Bonsai for Christmas, a mixed red/white Azalea. (Images attached)

Historically I have a black thumb, so I have been consuming as many articles on Bonsai care, creation, maintenance, and azaleas as I could find.

All of the guides I've read say to water, without disturbing the soil, whenever the plant needs it, as determined by the dryness of the soil and moss. so I and my black thumb took this to mean every morning, before work, and enough to have some seap from the pot's bottom holes.

I went to a nursery yesterday to get fertilizer, because I am concerned that it is not starting to form buds for flowers and figure I should be fertilizing once per month. When I mentioned my watering schedule to the nursery worker, she cringed. I asked her if I was doing it wrong. She said, "You shouldn't water a little, often. You should water it once a week, then because the roots are usually so coiled, submerge the whole pot in about room temperature water, until there are no bubbles escaping. Then if you think it needs fertilizer, put water with this (hands me acidic fertilizer) at half strength maybe once a week."

My concern is that I haven't read this anywhere and it seems to me that submersion would disturb the soil which I keep reading not to do.

Additionally, I have hard water. She said the lime will be fine, not to worry. If anyone could confirm that, it would make me feel a little better.

Thank you all for any help you can offer.
-- Rhett

This message has attachments images.
Please log in or register to see it.

  • rng2ml
  • rng2ml's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Thank you received: 0

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14549

Also, the plant lives on a table, outside in a north-facing patio. It gets sun most of the morning, but plenty of trees around so usually no direct sunlight and the above neighbor's patio extends over mine, so no direct/harsh rain.
  • rng2ml
  • rng2ml's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Thank you received: 0

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14550

you might be overwatering. water with a watering can only when the soil starts to dry out a bit. not once a week, submerging it, in my opinion works, however is not the best method. once a week is to little, the roots would have dried out, fertilizing it once a week is too frequent.

www.bonsai4me.co.uk/SpeciesGuide/Rhododendron.html

however, I cannot give absolute, magic advice as I myself have not in my possession an azalea, so i would also advise to wait for future posts from some more experienced people.
  • bob
  • bob's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • “Little by little, one travels far”-JRR Tolkien
  • Posts: 1097
  • Thank you received: 174
One pot, one tree, one litre of akadama and one gallon of water. A bowl for stationary. Fire for the fireplace. A way to get my petrol spillages off the floor. Water for my computer.

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14551

So submerging is a valid strategy? But, maybe once every 3-5 days? I would prefer to stick with watering from a can if possible, it will be difficult for me to submerge.

As for fertilizing, my initial strategy, as read from many guides, was once a month for most of the year, twice a month before flowering which the guide above says Satsuki (I think this is Satsuki) blooms in summer, so start in mid to late spring. Also, I was under the impression it would bloom in spring. Since the guide you gave me says summer, it makes me feel better about no buds starting to grow, there is still time.

Additionally, the guide you posted refers to using white vinegar once a month to combat the lime in my hard water.
  • rng2ml
  • rng2ml's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Thank you received: 0

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14552

My azalea's have not been watered since about late october. They sit outside in full rain. They are fertilized only when spring comes (And daytime temps top 10 celcius. When you water, water by need. THat means, not pevery day unless it is hot weather (THen you might have to water twice a day) and in winter it may mean watering every 4 weeks, if reain keep everything moist.

Azalea is one of the plants for which lime / scale buildup is a true problem. But you will notice. Otherwise, adding a tiny bit of vinigar every once in a while is a good idea.

I personally am NOT a fan of submersion. It gets the rootbal soaked, which will take a long time to dry out again. Furthermore, I feel that it compresses the rootball, reducing open spaces. But that is just me.
The following user(s) said Thank You: alainleon1983
  • leatherback
  • leatherback's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • For the love of plants
  • Posts: 4128
  • Thank you received: 1232
Ficus and bonsai. Lots can be said.
Only small things can ever become big
growingbonsai.net: Learn how to grow bonsai

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14553

okay, sounds like I should reduce my watering. It has been raining lately, not heavy, so I'll move it out to the sill where it will get some more of that rain.

How would I know when the soil is in need of watering? When I touch the moss and it is no longer damp? I have noticed a change in color of the moss. Some areas got a shade or 2 lighter than when I received it. You can see it in the image of the trunk, the more yellow moss.

Further, how can I tell when the lime has become a problem. Again, sorry, black thumb -- I have never had a plant live and I really don't want to lose this one.

I will hold the concept of soaking for times like before I go on vacation for a week or more. I can't count on rain, I'm in Southern California, in Orange County.

Thank you Leatherback and Bob for your help in this
  • rng2ml
  • rng2ml's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Thank you received: 0

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14558

water when the soil starts to dry out. If I were you, I would ditch the moss as it serves no purpose in the stages of this trees development. your choice obviously, this is just what I would do.

as for the lime question, I do not know.
  • bob
  • bob's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • “Little by little, one travels far”-JRR Tolkien
  • Posts: 1097
  • Thank you received: 174
One pot, one tree, one litre of akadama and one gallon of water. A bowl for stationary. Fire for the fireplace. A way to get my petrol spillages off the floor. Water for my computer.

Watering Question of Azaleas 3 years 2 months ago #14561

Use a chopstick to see if it is getting dry. Never water to a schedule, you need to check to see if it needs water there is no set time, only when it is needed. Do not allow the tree to dry out, the moss will help to conserve moisture, it is useful and should be left.
The water must be lime free, so if you can rainwater, if not then you will need Sequestrene or similar to keep the pH down.
  • m5eaygeoff
  • m5eaygeoff's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 1323
  • Thank you received: 278
  • Page:
  • 1
Log in Register