vallihaha
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Azalea Bonzai in Arizona desert??

:? I received a satsuki azalea bonzai for Mother's Day. I have never bonzaied before, I know zilch about the skill.

But I DO know that the instructions I got with the plant will not apply to this climate. The enclosed brochure (single sheet folded) said it was an outdoor bonzai, and should be kept outdoors spring summer and fall. I DON'T THINK SO. Not with desert dry conditions @ 110 :twisted: degrees in the shade. Even now in early May we have 100 degree days.

What are my chances of keeping this plant alive with 20% or less humidity? What sort of suggestions might you have for caring for a humidity loving plant in this climate?

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bonsaiboy
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There is a possibility such a bonsai can be kept indoors over the summer in bright light, and placed outside when it becomes cooler. Much like the way many people treat there tropicals, it can probably be brought inside and put back out, exept during oppisite time of the year.
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IndorBonsai
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WoW good question , time to hit the books and do some research, I will be back,
As for now your soil will probably dry quickly. Normally I suggest checking your soil and if it is damp wait another day and check again. But for you I would say check your soil and if it is damp wait another hour and check again, water when the top 1/4 inch of the soil is dry.(never let it completely dry out ) You will be able to find how long it takes for your soil to dry.
Keep it in the shade/filtered sun (under a big tree or something that casts shadows over it most the day) That kind of direct sun will burn it crispy.
I don't know if that kind of heat will kill it so I am going to do some reading but this should be a good start.
Last edited by IndorBonsai on Sat May 09, 2009 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

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IndorBonsai
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Here is a little more information I have found that I thought might help.
General Care : In azaleas, it is always important to remove dead flowers and leaves as soon as possible. Annual growth must either be removed once flowering has finished or carefully trained to enhance the final structure. Prune secondary shoots more lightly until midsummer. Use lime-free soil mix: all plants in the rhododendron family need acid soil. Position in partial shade. Protect from frost and from heavy rain when in flower.
I am still trying to find any Info about what temps this can tree can handle.
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

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IndorBonsai
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Well this is about The best I have come up with so far, hope this helps.

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Santa Barbara, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Keystone Heights, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Douglasville, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Valley Lee, Maryland
Caldwell, New Jersey
Clemson, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Cordova, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Vidor, Texas


Hardiness:
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

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Your key with a Satsuki will be humidity, so a good deep humidity tray with enough rock in it to keep the pot above the water line would be good. I have a marble pen-jing tray that works famously (not that humidity would be a big issue for me here). You could actually rig a misting system which would triger at a preset humidity, which both cools and humidifies with very little water. Afternoon shade is a must; right against the east side of the house would be best, but any dapply shade from noon on would be appreciated, even if it is just shade cloth or a big tree...

There is always a way... :)
HG
Scott Reil

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I have to agree, you should be okay as long as you can provide a sheltered site during the hottest parts of the day, and provide a humidity tray (possibly with some misting).

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bonsaiboy
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I don't think a humidity tray will work all that well. With constant air movement it seems likely the water vapor would dissipate before it could do anything useful.
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Gnome
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bonsaiboy wrote:I don't think a humidity tray will work all that well. With constant air movement it seems likely the water vapor would dissipate before it could do anything useful.
I had the same thought. Is a humidity tray useful outside? I never use one outside but the vast majority of my tender species are drought tolerant succulents. The deciduous and evergreen species are on their own.

Norm

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I like the misting system better as it cools the whole area (including people), but as I am a frugal swamp Yankee I always try to think of a cheaper way to do it. :roll: :lol:

HG
Scott Reil

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The tray should raise humidity in the immediate area temporarily, as well as evaporation providing humidity to the soil (where it can be trapped more easily than in the air), which would, I think, be the primary concern, preventing the soil from drying too quickly. Although I *suspect* it would likely need to be topped up more than once per day, and, of course, soil moisture levels still checked.

The Helpful Gardener
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A pen-jing tray is different from the avereage humidity tray in that it has a rim like a pot and can hold a significantly more substantial amount of water; use it with a lava rock type substrate and you can store a lot of moisture that releases from a porous rock in a fairly steady manner, The closest thing I can find to mine is the Stone Island image at this fine site...

[url]https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/better-homes-gardens/458/penjing/[/url]

It really does hold a gallon and a half, nearly two gallons with the rock in it...
Scott Reil

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Big Vine
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Nice link, Scott...I just added it to my favorites! 8)
BV
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