The Satsuki azalea is a popular species of flowering bonsai.
The Satsuki bonsai is a great bonsai for the beginner or the advanced hobbyist. The Satsuki is so popular that it has its own following and there are exhibitions specifically for displaying this spectacular bonsai.
The Satsuki azalea is a Japanese hybrid azalea that has been developed over the last one hundred years. They bloom later than most common azalea, in late spring to early summer, hence their name Satsuki, the traditional Japanese name for the month of May.
Azaleas are a member of the rhododendron family, and are listed as R. indicum or R. simsii in most horticultural catalogs.
The small dark green leaves in combination with their woody trunks are perfect for bonsai display year round, but the Satsuki really shines when it is in bloom. Many colors are available, from deep reds to snow white. The Nikko is a multi-colored specimen that has variegated and solid colors on the same plant and is a very popular bonsai.
However, since they are an evergreen, the azalea provides a wonderful bonsai example whether they are flowering or not.
Satsuki Azalea Care tips
Satsuki azalea, like azalea generally, are very hardy plants. They thrive in temperate climates preferring shade and moist soil conditions. They can survive relatively cold conditions but must be protected from freezing.
Azalea require well-draining soil, such as kanuma.
Repotting, tree shaping and pruning are best done right after the last bloom.