The Azalea Bonsai Tree

azalea bonsai tree

Please enjoy our Azalea Bonsai tree information.

Firstly, we would like to say that the Azalea is a must-have Bonsai and looks unbelievable as part of a Bonsai collection, or as a sole trophy!

Now for some information!

The Azalea belongs to the genus Rhododendron, and is a colourful choice for Bonsai artists.

To achieve a bonsai from Azaleas, you can work with a number of varied species, but we suggest focusing on the popular Satsuki Azalea.

The Satsuki Azalea Bonsai tree has been a popular choice in Japanese Bonsai Gardens for many centuries. It’s popularity can be defined by its evergreen qualities, it’s distinguished trunk, as well as it’s magnificent foliage and beautiful flowers.

Each spring the Satsuki will blossom with stunning flowers, some spreading up to 7 inches in diameter.

The colour pallet of these wonderful species is just brilliant, and will bring glorious colour to your garden each spring.

In regards to styles and shaping, the Azalea can basically assume any form. It is a versatile species of Bonsai, but, it is best suited aesthetically to Informal Upright, Root-Over-Rock and a design with a slant, such as Cascade and the magnificent Windswept style. Azaleas also look fantastic with multiple trunks.

Remember, before continuing, read our Care Guide and make a checklist

Soil, Lighting, & Watering

• An Azalea Bonsai tree (Satsuki remember?) will thrive in a light to sandy loam, that is slightly acidic (pH 5.5 – 6).

• If the soil is too acidic, or too alkaline, your Azalea will not grow.

• Make sure that your soil mixture does not contain small particles, as the root system of your Azalea is very dense. When small particles are used in the soil mixture of an Azalea Bonsai, the roots can form mats that shed water, reducing the efficiency of watering and feeding.

• For more information on soils click here!

• The Azalea Bonsai prefers to be kept outdoors in a slightly shaded area.

• The best conditions are half sun, half shade. If your Azalea is deprived of sunlight it will bare few flowers, and become gangly.

• If you are required to bring you Azalea Bonsai indoors due to bad weather such as heavy rain and frost, make sure it is only for a short time. If the leaves begin to wilt indoors, for the short-term place in full sunlight.

•Your Azalea Bonsai has a shallow root system, and doesn’t enjoy wet feet, so you will not need to water every day. Having said that the soil should never be allowed to completely dry out.

• Ensure that your Azalea has adequate water during the growth period in spring and for the following two months. During dry conditions allow that water to reach the sub soil below the root system, to prevent soil salts moving to the root area.


The Azalea Bonsai tree enjoys an Organic Fertilizer once per month, avoiding feeding during the growing period. You should apply the feed to the soil around your acid loving plants.

CAUTION!!! More Azalea Bonsais have been killed by over feeding than by any other factor!


• A Young Azalea Bonsai Tree should be repotted once every year, and as it gets older repotting should be reduced to every two to three years.

• When re-potting, be sure to trim the root balls, and tease out any woody sections.

• After repotting your Azalea, it should be kept in the shade for a few weeks while it regains strength and re-establishes itself.

Pruning & Wiring

• Pruning your Azalea Bonsai Tree is an important part of it’s overall health, so dead leaves and flowers should be removed without delay.

• Yearly growth should be cut back once the flowering season (Spring) has ended, as this will allow you to make the most of the overall structure of your Bonsai. Secondary shots should be pruned mid Summer.

• Be careful when pruning old branches as these are easily broken off, and can damage the overall style you have intended for your Bonsai.

• You can make your Azalea more compact by pinching out new springgrowth.

• Cutting back foliage when your Bosai’s flowers die off can renew oldand unkempt plants. Heavy cutting may kill an old plant however, so be careful when cutting back large amounts of growth.

Click here to access our Bonsai pruning guide!


Read our Wiring guide to learn how!

• Azalea wiring should be prepared through the months of spring to summer.

• You should never wire your Azalea too tight, as this can damage the hardwood of your Bonsai.

• Use a sealing compound to dress any wound your tree may suffer. It may be necessary to protect branches with raffia before wiring.

Be careful when wiring old branches as these become brittle.

TIP - Try skipping watering the day before you wire your Azalea. This will make the branches of your Azalea Bonsai more flexible!

Leave Azalea Bonsai Tree Information and head back to the Bonsai Trees Guide!