The Azalea (Rhododendron) is a popular Bonsai amongst Bonsai enthusiasts due to its unique foliage. This beautiful Bonsai has small glossy heart-shaped leaves attached to thick stems. The spectacular flowers that grow during May-June are what catch the eye. These flowers come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. Our Kazan Azaleas bloom gorgeous salmon-pink flowers, and the Cherry Drop Azaleas have deep red flowers.
These Azaleas were imported from the Far East and were pruned back to expose one to three interesting trunk lines. They should not undergo repotting or additional pruning until next Spring after they lose their flowers.
The Azalea is an outdoor species and will do best when left outdoors as soon as the temperature rises above 10° celsius during the day consistently. Azaleas can withstand temperatures as low as 1-2° at night, as long as the temperature does not drop below 0° for an extended period.
The Azalea thrives in the sunny weather, but it is best to provide some shade during that mid-day scorching summer sun. The Azalea should be protected from the rain and the scorching hot sun during the blooming season to make the flowers last longer.
Watering: this Bonsai does not like to be dried out but also does not enjoy permanent wetness. Because of this, it is necessary to check the moisture of the soil before watering.
Winter: The Azalea is an evergreen, meaning that it will not lose its leaves but will go dormant during the winter months. Please see our Winter in Canada for bonsai page for further instructions.
Pruning: It withstands intense pruning and is basal-dominant, meaning that the lower branches grow more robust than, the weaker top; therefore, pruning of the branches is more complicated from the bottom than from the top. The Azalea even produces new shoots from branches that have no visible leaves left.
Repotting: it is recommended to be repotted every 2 years in the Spring or after flowering.
YOUNG: 12" - 14" tall, comes in a 6" grower's pot.
MATURE: 14" - 18" tall, comes with a medium ceramic 8inch pot.
These are not seeds - But an Actual Living Bonsai Tree.
Please see our Choosing a Bonsai page for the age and dimensions regarding the different stages of our Bonsai (Baby, Young, & Mature).
It is important for the soil have good water retention while also draining well, along with very good aeration. The quality of the soil directly affects the health, size and growth of your tree. One of the worst things you can do to your tree is plant it in regular garden soil. Garden soil hardens when it drys and can often lead to a disadvantage when growing a Bonsai.
Soil mixtures can be purchased here, but given their weight and cost of shipping, you can also easily make your own.
Depending on the type of Bonsai you're growing, here are the general formulas for successful mixtures.
Deciduous Tree (Leafy and looses leafs in the fall)
10% Potting Compost
Coniferous Tree (Evergreen like Juniper, Cedar)
If you are not able to check on your Bonsai's moisture levels daily, add more Akadama to the mix.
Given how these soils erode over time, repotting every 2-3 years is required.
Here are some suitable replacements if you cannot find the recommended types of soil.
- Akadama - fine fired or baked clays, some even recommend cat litter as a substitute.
- Pumice - fine crushed aggregates, expanded shale and vermiculite.
- Lava Rock - This can be replaced with fine gravel or you can also look into purchasing a larger lava rock at a hardware or gardening centre and crushing it.
One of the best and easiest ways to fertilize your Bonsai, is to add a liquid fertilizer mix when water your Bonsai's once a month during the spring/summer. If your Bonsai looses leaves in the winter there is no need to fertilize it then. If you have a coniferous tree, fertilizing the tree once in the beginning of winter and once in the middle of winter should be sufficient.