shrub native to Japan, widespread in Europe and North America, with small dark green oval leaves and abundant and very showy flowering; the flowers are simple, gathered in bunches, of colors ranging from white, to red, to pink, to violet. Fairly widespread as bonsai, especially the varieties with smaller leaves and flowers; carefully following a few general rules this bonsai does not present too many difficulties.
Pruning, exposure and watering
Pruning: pruning is usually done at the end of flowering, in late spring or early summer.
Exposure: the azaleas love very bright positions, but not the direct rays of the sun, except in the coolest hours of the day, and they like to be sheltered from the wind. In winter it is good to keep it in a sheltered position from frost.
Watering: it is advisable to supply a conspicuous amount of water, possibly not calcareous, always keeping the soil moist; during the hottest periods of the year, vaporize distilled water on the leaves. However, avoid over-soaking the soil and creating harmful water stagnation. Supply fertilizer for acidophilic plants every 15 days, starting from May until the end of August.
Azalea - Azalea japonica: Other tips
Soil: the azaleas like a soil with acid ph, keep them in a soil composed of two parts of white peat, a part of sand and two parts of clay. Repot every 2-3 years at the end of summer, vigorously pruning the roots, remembering to supply more water in the days just after repotting.
Multiplication: it takes place by seed, to be planted in May, in soil that must be kept moist until the appearance of the seedlings, which must be repotted the following year. You can take cuttings in early summer, which must be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts.
Pests and diseases: like all acidophilic plants, it suffers from ferric chlorosis in the presence of limestone in the ground or when the water is too hard. It can be affected by aphids and scale insects.