Lynwaz
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Any help/hope for dehydrated azalea?

My son got me a bonsai azalea for Mother's Day & I was thrilled because I've always wanted to try these...It was doing very nicely on my balcony, watered daily. Then I had to go out of town on business for a week. Told the lady who fed my cats to please water the plants, & especially the bonsai...She agreed. I came home last night & You guessed it -- the cats were fed but the plants were not watered. I drenched everything & most other plants came back OK but the bonsai still looks very sad. I watered it last night - this morning - sprayed its leaves - & this afternoon I read here about 'drenching' so I drenched it, let it drain & now it's back out on the balcony -
Is there anything else I can do to possibly help this poor thing recover? The leaves aren't all brown (yet) but they are dull, compared to the lovely, glossy color they were when I left. I am so distraught. If I can keep it alive I will take to a plant caretaker, next time I go out of town...

Lynwaz

User avatar
IndorBonsai
Senior Member
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Seattle area WA

You can try setting it in a shady/ filtered sun area for awhile, Let the soil dry out some, now that you have it good and watered. And only water when the soil starts feeling dry on the surface.

You can also use a toothpick stuck into the soil to help know when to water, just pull it out and look at it, then poke it back into the soil. This will help your roots, if they are still alive, grow and not get root rot.
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

Lynwaz
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Thanks - I'll report back in

after giving it a week or so. I have a nice shady spot out there that should be good as a "bonsai hospital" - I sure hope it recovers!

Lynwaz
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

My ailing Azalea has one new leaf unfurling!

Despite following your re-watering & toothpick & shady-nook instructions, about 2/3 of the leaves fell off my dehydrated Azalea (neglected by so-called "Plant caretakers" while I was out of town.) A few of the tiny branches snapped off at a touch, so I knew they were dead - but what is left of the plant seems "springy" - so I am hopeful. Most of the remaining leaves still look lousy but they are not dropping - & this morning I noticed a tiny leaf unfurling...

So I have hope (a small hope) that my Azalea will eventually come back to health. I know it will take a long time. But assuming this is true - what should I be doing to encourage it?

1. Should I prune it back? (it's already very small- it was supposedly 5 yrs old but only about 6 " high & maybe 6" across)
2. Should I fertilize it? If so, with what? & how often -- since it's sick.
3. Should I put it in a plastic bag ala "greenhouse" (another bonsai site mentioned this but I don't want it to boil... or get soggy or moldy)
4. Should I cut off what looks like "dead wood" or wait until I am sure no leaves or leaf-buds emerge?

Any thoughts or suggestions gratefully received. Thanks & cross your fingers for my little plant...

Lynwaz

User avatar
IndorBonsai
Senior Member
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Seattle area WA

New growth is a great sign :) I would continue the care you have been giving it lately, it is working.

Before fertilizing I would let a few more new leafs grow ( 5 or so ) this will help keep the tree from going into shock again.
Also when it is time to fertilize make sure to use a 1/3rd dosage per the instructions on the bottle of fertilizer you have.

You can remove the dead leafs but I would leave the branches for now, you never know what ones will make a comeback.

It sounds like your doing a great job :) Keep up the good work !
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Lynwaz,

Don't be too hasty to prune what you perceive as being dead, it may not be so. Dry little shoots are one thing but more substantial branches might surprise you. Azaleas are basally dominant, as opposed to most other that are apically dominant. You could very possibly get some new buds down low; make sure not to damage these as they can serve you well in the future in several capacities.

They can either be a new leader, in which case you now have some movement and taper. One could also, depending on location and your plans, provide a first branch. Low shoots, even if not located well, can also serve as 'sacrifice branches' that help thicken the trunk. They are allowed to remain for several years before removing them.

Norm

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”