Satsuki Azaleas bonsai varieties

Azalea Bonsai care Satsuki azalea repotting

Evergreen Satsuki azaleas (Rhododendron indicum) have been grown in Japan for at least 500 years. The first Satsuki azaleas varieties are probably naturally occurring crosses of the two azaleas Rhododendron indicum and Rhododendron tamurae. In general, Satsuki varieties are late flowering (May-June) with 3-10cm large flowers.

There are more than 1000 varieties of Satsuki azaleas. Most are compact and slow growing. This makes them very suitable for bonsai styling, especially flowering bonsai. Satsuki azaleas are easy to care for, but should be potted in Kanuma bonsai soil.

The variety of flower shapes and especially the colors is impressive. The flower color of the Satsuki Azalea varies from white, yellowish, pink, orange, red to dark purple. Some Satsuki flowers are monochrome. But stripes, flakes and lines often appear.

The complete color spectrum can occur on a single bonsai tree and it can vary greatly from year to year. The color samples have been recorded in catalogs for hundreds of years. Certain colors of azaleas fetch very high prices in Japan.

The names of the Satsuki azaleas varieties are just as variable as the flower colors (Kinsai, Kinzai, Kin-no-sai, Kin-no-zai are names for only one variety). Here we have put together an overview of the varieties we have imported as bonsai from Japan. Have fun watching the pictures.