Pruning of azalea bonsai

Satsuki azalea bonsai tolerate pruning very well. After pruning, a bonsai tree willingly sprouts in many places (also on thick branches or the trunk). This makes it easy to achieve fine and dense branching in these bonsai.

What should be considered when pruning azalea bonsai ?

  • The flowers of azalea bonsai are on the shoot ends. Therefore, the bonsai should only be cut shortly after flowering.
  • Azalea bonsai shouldn't be cut too late in the year. If you cut azaleas after the flower buds have developed, you will have fewer or no flowers in the next spring.
  • With adequate bonsai care, these trees can also handle drastic pruning very well. A strong pruning is necessary every 3 years, otherwise many fine shoots die from lack of light inside the very dense knot pads.
  • After flowering, the developing seed pods should definitely be cut off. These need a lot of energy for their development and weaken the tree.
  • Every year after flowering, especially the shoots that grow steeply upwards or downwards should be removed with a sharp bonsai scissors.
  • Azaleas are dominant at the base, i.e. they sprout faster and more forcefully below than above. It is therefore important to start with the pruning at the bottom and cut back the upper areas after 2-3 weeks.
  • Since the wood of azaleas is very hard, sharp concave pliers for bonsai are required to cut stronger branches.
  • The bark of Satsuki azaleas is very smooth. Cuts are visible for a long time. Therefore, wound closure agents for bonsai should be applied for good wound healing.

Helpful links


In the following video (German language) we show an example how drastically the cutting of azalea bonsai can be done. Have fun watching.


Video (in German)

Video: Pruning of azalea bonsai (Rhododendron indicum)

Here is an overview of our other Bonsai videos