tomfisher
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i bought an azalea today

so i just wanted to see what people think :)

[img]https://i940.photobucket.com/albums/ad247/tomfisher/P1000902.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i940.photobucket.com/albums/ad247/tomfisher/P1000901.jpg[/img]

any advice for a person starting an azalea

JTred
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It looks like it has the start of a nice nebari. I look forward to seeing it in bloom.

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Bonsai Nutcase
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Very nice trunk! The soil looks like it's broken down a bit. May want to repot with fresh stuff.
Angela

To those who say "We can't afford to go green" I say "We can't afford not to".

Marsman
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I agree with JTred, nice looking nebari. I'm still waiting for my [url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Azalea/]azalea[/url] to leaf out. I just trimmed off all the buds. Killed me to do it, but it re-directs the energy back into the tree.

tomfisher
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just wondering what is the best soil to repot it in? because ive seen many posts about using kitty litter and others about bonsai soil and its a lil confusing

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majed
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nebari with bloom style will be the best for it,indeed a good tree.

Marsman
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tomfisher wrote:just wondering what is the best soil to repot it in? because ive seen many posts about using kitty litter and others about bonsai soil and its a lil confusing
I know others have used kitty litter, but I've had bad results with it. It clumped up and turned to a solid. I did mix it with pine bark and some lava but it just didn't work well for me. I used bonsai soil for my trees now.

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StickFish
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That's a good looking tree, tomfisher. I've been considering getting an azalea myself. I'll keep an eye on this thread in case I do; people here like to give good tips. :D
"It has a beginning but no end. A bud today becomes a branch tomorrow."
"Bonsai is not the result: that comes after. Your enjoyment is what is important"
~John Naka

tomfisher
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thanks everyone :) its 10 years old and am just waiting for it to flower ive also heard that you shouldn't use fertilizers if its in bloom but what just before so like nowish ?

Victrinia Ridgeway
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The best soil for azalea is kanuma... mostly because it promotes the acidic enviornment the azalea wants.

I have other thoughts to contribute to this thread... but I have a bunch of things to do this morning so I'll have to get to it this evening. :P

Have fun...

Victrinia
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

moulman
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Marsman, your not supposed to use 'clumping litter' :lol:

Marsman
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moulman wrote:Marsman, your not supposed to use 'clumping litter' :lol:
[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Fun%20Stuff/129131902405806418.jpg[/img]

I didn't. :roll:

I sifted it and mixed it with some good bonasi mix. It just turned to clay. Now I just use Turface when making my own mix.

moulman
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Hey Mars, I took a look at the pics of your azalea. I don't mean to be contrary or to be rude, but I (and I think you will find most others will agree) have a totally different perspective on what a 'beautiful nebari' looks like. The nebari on the azalea needs serious root-pruning to remove all those crossing roots and try to get a more even and radial flare to the base of the tree.
The way it is now is a snarl of uneven oversized roots, not a flared nebari as is commonly strived for.
I hope you don't take this as an offense, because I say this only as a friendly comment, as you seem to be confused as to what constitutes 'nebari'.

Marsman
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No offense taken. :)

I appreciate the comment and very much agree with your assessment. The look appealed to me, but I know it's not the generally accepted 'look and feel'.

[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Azalea/DSC_0050-1.jpg[/img]

I guess I'll have to get in there and see what I can clean up.

=========
Added:

Would this look cleaner?

[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Azalea/Fixed-Roots-1.jpg[/img]

moulman
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Now yer talkin' -looks much better.

tomfisher
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the bottom one looks way better :) i liked both though

Victrinia Ridgeway
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First to the root thing...

I'm not sure how a "chicken foot" is an improvement. I don't think you should do anything in a hurry... for one thing this is a not level - not straight photo... so how it really lays could be much different. I'd give it several years and see if any of them start to fuse so you can maybe carve out parts but not all. Azalea as with so many things can fuse roots together and become bumpy interesting things... a chicken foot... *yawn*

So think twice. Don't think about the "now" think about 10-20 years from now.

As to the azalea in question... there's too much congestion in the area where all the branching erupts from the trunk. It is in effect a whorl of branches. It needs to be selectively pruned back to only a few branches very soon or the reverse taper that is already becoming evident will get much worse. While this will make the tree somewhat unattractive for some time, it'll serve the long term image of the tree in the end. Without being able to look at the tree from all around and the interior, it would be very difficult to tell you what I'd remove... if you bought it from a bonsai nursery, they should be able to help you select the right things to remove.

If you decide to repot the tree now, be sure to remove any flower buds that are coming in at the same time. Don't let it bloom. The best time to repot them is actually a bit past... and any time you repot them you should not let them flower. I know there are a lot of theories that it should be done after flower, but things vary depending on the state of the tree... so while I believe you could still repot it without danger, I wouldn't likely do hard root work, and I would make sure no flower buds were present.

But you could do a moderate cleaning and pruning of the roots and put fresh soil in it. Always be conservative with root work until you feel very confident about it. That usually takes a few repots with the same tree.

Hope this helps...

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

tomfisher
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whose tree are you talking about just wondering :)

Victrinia Ridgeway
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About the chicken foot virt?... Marsman's of course... I was a little concerned that he might jump the gun with rearranging the nebari. While it has problems now... it would be better to try and think of the tree in a long term solution rather than a very boring near term fix. Because technically, the chicken foot is not an improvement either. If one is in for a penny... be in for a pound... because all of those roots would need to go to make a "perfect" tree. Sometimes you just have to accept what's imperfect in a tree and let it be. That's why a perfect tree can cost many thousands of dollars and more. They are rare. I don't have one... not even close, and I've got some darn nice trees. :wink:

The rest of my post is for your tree. :)

V
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

tomfisher
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awesome :) some good advice thanks

Victrinia Ridgeway
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I actually think you'll be fine until next year... you should just enjoy your tree for now, because it looks like it is going to flower nicely for you.

Do you know what variety it is?

V
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

tomfisher
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not yet ill have to wait for it to flower XD

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