jdeeds
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:43 am
Location: Colorado

Azalea pre-bonsai dormancy??

Hi all! I just purchased a Azalea pre-bonsai treebush and have some questions about dormancy. This tree grew up in southern California and I live at 9600' feet in Colorado! By the looks of this guy, I would have to guess.......it's still summer in Cali, lots of nice green leaves. It's snowing with 115 mph gusts here!
I know, I know you can't usually grow Maples, Gingkos and other fun plants here because of the short summers and super cold winters but I disguise my exact location to my tree's by raising them in a greenhouse and wintering them in a designated tree fridge.

My question to anybody with some insight is, how should I go about introducing this plant to a real dormancy period?? I know it would slow it's growth down considerably during the winter in California. I'm going to have to halt it's growth for the first time in its life. Does anybody have any recommendations for me and my nice little tree?

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Rhododendrum indicum (my Latin is lousy) it a tender woody plant. It doesn't have the same kind of dormancy needs that one of the north american deciduous azalea does. it slows but stays ever green (and warm).

So, as long as your not talking 'bout one a them Japanese azalea.

I'd be over-wintering it, or rather did over winter mine in an unheated cold frame, in NH. Wind damage and snow pack breakage was my (azalea) winter stressors there.

I'd expect a deciduous azalea if protected from wind, aught to be able to take 0°F. Nest the root ball in something to reduce freeze-thaw cycle...
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