Rhododendron hybrida ( Otome no Mai Satsuki Azalea )

Compact, low-growing, evergreen shrub that is twiggy and dense with a spreading to rounded form. Leaves are lance-shaped to elliptic and notably smaller, 1/2 to 2 inches long, than other azalea hybrids making it the wonderful bonzai plant that it was originally bred to be. Showy, funnel-shaped, purplish-pink flowers with very pale pink throats, 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Flowers are borne from May to June. Prune immediately after flowering so you won’t cut off any of next year’s flower buds. Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acidic soil, rich with organic matter. This is a front of the border azalea because of its lower height. Perfect for the smaller garden. Satsukis seem to be able to handle a little more sunlight than most azaleas, but this does not mean “hot” sun. Filtered light is still best. This Japanese azalea is a hybridization between Rhododendron indicum and Rhododendron simsii. Though azaleas have a potentially large list of possible pest and disease problems, they are usually trouble free if planted correctly in proper cultural conditions.