dinajean
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:11 pm
Location: Pickens County, South Carolina

Azalea Bonsai dying

My mother just recently purchased an azalea bonsai. I read the instructions that came with it. I told her she needed to water thoroughly every day and keep it outside. I don't think she has kept it outside everyday because she is afraid it will die from the cold. She lives in Massachusetts. I also think the heat in the apartment is too much- she keeps her heat off but lives on the third floor and the heat rises.
Anyways, the leaves are now a dull greenish, brown color. I am wondering if the plant is dying or is it just losing its leaves for the winter?
Please help!
I appreciate it!
Dina

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Watering everyday will kill most bonsai. We have a saying here, don't water by the calendar, water by the thermometer. Especially this time of year, when a temperate plant like azalea is winding down for the winter. Azaleas might lose some foliage, but it's the dull that's worrying me, along with that brown word. There are deciduous azaleas as well, so there's that too, but I suspect the watering thing, mostly. I would not water that plant but once a week at this point, but immersion watering by submerging the pot in a tray, until bubble trails quit...

And we really need to find somewhere cooler. Near a window (not right in it) in a screen porch or garage, even an unheated or cool room can make a difference. When we force plants for flower shows we throw them in a cooler, near freezing, for two months. If you can do that you can fool them into thinking they had a winter. I wouldn't try that year after year though. OUtside in Boston would be a little much this time of year, but we need to find some cool anyway...

HG

dinajean
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:11 pm
Location: Pickens County, South Carolina

Well, thank you for that information. Why does the booklet that comes with the bonsai tree say to water everday?
She will start only watering it once a week, and keeping it in a cool place.
She will keep it on the porch during the day and in the coolest room of the apartment at night. Is this okay?
Also, are the azaleas deciduous or evergreen?
What should she expect with the leaves? Right now she says they fall off when she touches the tree.
Thanks again!!!!!

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Again, not knowing specifically what azalea you have, it's very hard to say...

Those booklets are generically printed for all species and used by the mall cart guys and other, how shall we say, less than scrupulous entrepreneurs who could care less if your tree dies a month or twop after they sell them to you; they just want it to stay alive while they are still at that location. I challenge everyone to show me a mall bonsai vendor who has been at that location for more than a few months (most crop up just after Thanksgiving for gift sales and are gone before Santa shows). I have heard of one from someone here at the site that seems to be legit and is there year after year, but that's the exception to the rule...

Once again, the garden center is more expensive, but for a good reason...

Scott

taylors_at_home
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:06 pm
Location: Australia

Azalia Bonsai's in Australia

Hi, Thanks for the info re the azalia. I am having similar problems with a new azalia bonsai that was given to me for Christmas. It has been sitting in water in the laundry whilst I was away for a week and my Mum noticed the leaves were dropping. Should I keep it out on our deck - remember it is summer in Australia and our temperatures at the moment are up to 40 deg Celcius? Very hot! And how often should I water it?
Thanks

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Needs to dry out fast, and a drench of neem oil wouldn't hurt, as root rot seems likely to be the cause (azaleas hate to sit wet).

40C is way too hot for direct sun, but it'll help dry it out quick. Mist the foliage and no water for three days, then check it...

HG

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