If you are the owner of a Satsuki Bonsai Azalea tree then you will find that training it is most interesting. Their shapes will vary based on your taste and the type and shape of plant that is used. Some of the popular types are known as cascade upright, single trunked upright, two trunked, several trunks clasping stone style and the several balance potted together.
Training should be done gradually taking into consideration personal taste as well as the nature of the bonsai azalea. The best time in which to practice training is after the plant has just completed flowering, which is mid-September to October. If training is done in the early season, the branches will become fixed and you can be released the plant from the copper wire coils in Autumn.
Bonsai Azalea Training – Types of Wire Used
There are six or seven different types of copper wire that are used. You can choose from No.1 to No 23 depending on the thickness of the trunk and branches. The wire should be well burnt in a rice straw or wheat straw fire before it is used.
Bonsai Azalea Training – Commencing
It is best to start training when the bonsai azaleas are still young. The plant should be three to four years old before cutting. The diameter of the trunks should be about an inch. At this stage the azaleas trunk is not difficult to curve based on your wishes. Use the number 10 copper wire to coil around the trunk. For the branches use a number.12 to a number.20 based on thickness. Never wrap the copper wire too tight as this will damage or even kill the plant.
As a precautionary measure the branches and trunk may be covered using hemp fiber before wrapping with copper wire. If you are going to bend the plant at an acute angle great care must be taken to prevent breaking.
Bonsai Azalea Training – Trimming
The Satsuki Azalea tree must be trimmed prior to flowering as the new growth will break the harmony of the form or it may become too dense. The new growth may create shoots that are too strong. When such growth is removed, new growth will emerge from the point of cutting. If these are not produced too late flower buds will form.
When the young Bonsai Azaleas are grown in a green house they are much easier to train plus they are easier to shape and will bend sharply. The older azaleas are more brittle.
Bonsai Azalea Training – Goals
The Satsuki azalea bonsai are usually divided into two classes. The first group will appreciate the style and shapes that the plant produces and the second mainly their blossoms. The second group can again be divided into two. One group will focus on the size of the blossoms and the other on the markings and colors of the flowers.
To appreciate the forms and styles of the Azalea Bonsai the plant needs to be of the correct age and needs to be trained to the desired shapes.