Author Topic: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question  (Read 2762 times)

LarryAldrich

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Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« on: March 04, 2014, 12:54 AM »
I have a one gallon Kyushu Azelea that I'm planning to put into a training pot and bonsai soil. I have some kanuma but it seems very soft and like chops ticking it in would pulverize it.  So I was planning to use the bonsai mix my local bonsai nursery sells.
It lived all last year in the nursery pot and thrived. I'm just concerned about the drainage in that soil.  I want it to get a lot of growth in before I start reducing it.
My question is if I should completely bare root it or leave some potting soil. Exactly how aggressive should I be.
Am I better off leaving it in potting soil?  I do not have a spot in the garden for it at this time. But I could put it in a bigger pot on the deck?
If I repot it now should I remove all the buds?  Or wait till it blooms first, then repot?
And it seems to have a slight layer of green stuff ( probably moss, I'm in Seattle) covering it should I scrape that off?  And if so how? 
Any advice is appreciated. 

Thanks
LarryAldrich
Seattle WA
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 12:55 AM »
Second photo.
 

0soyoung

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 01:28 AM »
My question is if I should completely bare root it or leave some potting soil. Exactly how aggressive should I be.
If I repot it now should I remove all the buds?  Or wait till it blooms first, then repot?
And it seems to have a slight layer of green stuff ( probably moss, I'm in Seattle) covering it should I scrape that off?  And if so how? 

IMHO, the flowers are the just about the sole reason to grow azaleas - don't pluck the buds. It would be better to repot it now, before the flower buds crack - just be careful if you want to enjoy the flowers this year. You can wait until after it has bloomed and then repot, or better yet, wait until August which is actually a better/good time for repotting azaleas.

By all means, get rid of all the potting soil when you repot. Azaleas and all my other trees do well in Turface MVP that you can get at a Ewing Irrigation store for a lot less money than kanuma and etc. You may need to keep the pot tilted through the rain we're having if you use a very shallow pot or put the azalea close to the bottom of the pot. Drainage shouldn't be a problem otherwise.

Neither moss nor lichen hurt azaleas or trees. You can pinch most of the moss off the trunk if it bothers you and do a final clean with water and an old tooth brush. But do note that some azaleas have a "hairy skin" (if you will) that often looks blackish this time of year. This unsighliness will disappear later in the spring.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 08:55 AM »
I have a one gallon Kyushu Azelea that I'm planning to put into a training pot and bonsai soil. I have some kanuma but it seems very soft and like chops ticking it in would pulverize it.  So I was planning to use the bonsai mix my local bonsai nursery sells.
It lived all last year in the nursery pot and thrived. I'm just concerned about the drainage in that soil. 
Others will be able to recommend the soil you should use in the Seattle area.  I'll say that I've seen folks recommend cutting the kanuma with pumice for additional structure and drainage in the soil.  What is the makeup of the bonsai mix from your local bonsai nursery?

Quote
I want it to get a lot of growth in before I start reducing it.
...
If I repot it now should I remove all the buds?  Or wait till it blooms first, then repot?
If "a lot of growth" is the goal, removing buds allows for the energy to go toward the kind of growth that will build the tree.  You'll sacrifice the flowers, but that's a decision you'll have to make.  Certainly, any reduction in flowers would provide more of the growth I'm guessing you want.  (That is, you don't have to remove ALL of the buds if you'd like to enjoy just a FEW of the flowers.)


Quote
My question is if I should completely bare root it or leave some potting soil. Exactly how aggressive should I be.
Am I better off leaving it in potting soil?
I've been pretty aggressive with the roots on azaleas and had pretty good luck, at least in the initial potting.  Azalea roots are unlike most trees and I've never been able to comb them out like most other trees.  I've resorted to cutting wedges of roots to allow space for new roots to grow, thereby reinvigorating the rootball.  ...And I'd recommend getting it OUT of any potting soil.  Bare rooting should NOT hurt it.

Quote
I do not have a spot in the garden for it at this time. But I could put it in a bigger pot on the deck?
Overpotting should usually be done in steps.  If a tree doesn't have the roots to dry a pot out quickly enough, I've heard reports that it could lead to root rot.  If you're going to pot it into something bigger, I'd go only a step larger.

Quote
And it seems to have a slight layer of green stuff ( probably moss, I'm in Seattle) covering it should I scrape that off?  And if so how?
I'd get as much off as I could with tweezers/brushes.  I've also had some luck causing the moss to die when vinegar is applied.
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 10:21 AM »
The soil from my local nursery is a mix of Akadama, pumice and pine bark.  I haven't yet started making my own.
The fellow at the nursery says I could use his soil for azaleas. But from what I have read kanuma is the preferred soil. I though about mixing the ,kanuma I already own with his soil. That would certainly improve the structure.
I know that anything with better drainage will be a good step forward for the tree.
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 12:45 PM »
Current potting options. 
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 12:46 PM »
And as always ignore the clutter in the background.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 01:25 PM »
If it were me, I'd think the terra cotta is fitting for this azalea.  Its size and depth (I read Bill Valavanis recently saying depth is good for growth ...and meant to ask him to clarify that) look about right.
 

Jason E

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 07:59 PM »
The soil from my local nursery is a mix of Akadama, pumice and pine bark. 

John's mix is lava pumice and pine bark....no akadama

I use kanuma and pumice mix for azaleas, but John's soil will be fine.
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 08:44 PM »
I'm going with Kanuma and pumice.  From different posts I've read seems pretty common for Azaleas.
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 09:16 PM »
I expected more roots.
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 09:29 PM »
Going in the pot.
 

LarryAldrich

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Re: Re-potting Kyushu Azalea question
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 09:30 PM »
Sorry about all the duplicate images.