Species Specific > Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Discussion

Sad Year and Repotting

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I just realized that this is going to be a sad satsuki year for me. Since I am repotting most of mine, I wont be able to let them flower.  :'(  :'(  :'(  :'( Ohh the sacrifices we make for healthy trees. Maybe I will be able to let one or two buds open on each tree for couple of hours.  ;D ;D

Some notes on how I repot satsukis:
I will repot most of my satsukis in the middle of march here in St. Louis. I do not let them flower the year I repot because flowering is the second biggest stress to a satsuki, the first being bare-rooting. Some people repot after they flower, but two big stresses to a tree is not healthy in my opinion. I use the chopstick method to repot satsukis because satsukis have great nebari and are very thin-skinned. Tying over there roots can harm them and leave wire marks on nebari. The chopstick method also holds them in better than any other method I have seen, and I am starting to use it on all my trees. I use kanuma here is St. Louis and it works the best (it also works great for cuttings). Satsukis need a deeper pot than other species because they flower. Flowering takes up an enormous amount of energy, and they need the extra leg room (aka roots) in order to be healthy. Since satsukis are feeder-root plants, I put yamagoki moss on top of the soil to keep the feeder roots moist. While working at a satsuki nursery over the summer I have seen the difference in the roots of the satsukis that have the moss and dont, and I am a firm believer in using it.


John Kirby:
I see Dave K has passed on Goto-San's notes well.


--- Quote from: John Kirby on February 14, 2010, 06:06 PM ---I see Dave K has passed on Goto-San's notes well.

--- End quote ---

You bet he has, the sad thing is I am only one of the few that he has passed them on to. There is not much interest for Satsuki in the STL bonsai club, but that doesn't stop me from liking them the most. On our satsuki weekends there are about 5-10 people that show up.

I still have much to learn, but I am lucky there is someone here who knows a ton about them and likes teaching me about them.

Dave K gave a good instructional session on satsukis at the Spring Show at the National Arboretum last May.  A lot of the same things you mentioned are tips he covered.

John Kirby:
Whoops, Gondo-san's notes. I got a copy of the "notes" from the multi year course that Gondo was taking students through out at El Dorado Bonsai in California from Vito Megna about 8 years ago. Listen well, Dave is an avid Satsuki grower and artist. You can learn a lot.


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