Small Flowered Azaleas
Kurume Azaleas are named after the town of Kurume which is situated on the island of Kyushu in southwest of Fukuoka Prefecture.
It was Motozo Sakamoto who first started growing and hybridising these plants in any meaningful way, and this was during late 1700s. He was followed by Kijiro Akashi who furthered the development of these azaleas.
It was not until Ernest Henry Wilson imported 50 varieties into the USA in the early 1900s that Kurume Azaleas became popular outside of Japan. Up until then it was the Indica types with larger flowers that were available.
It is another Japanese type, the Satsuki types are the ones most widely used in Bonsai.
Varieties Include :
- Asawa – Pink Flowers
- Aya kamuri – Pink Flowers
- Christmas Cheer – Red Flowers
- Kasane kagaribi – Salmon Pink Flowers
- Hino de giri – Hot Pink
- Kurumu seiki – White
- Kirin – Small pink flowers
- Fred Robert – Red
- Red Robin – Red
- Wards ruby – Red
Most of these can be grown in the garden or in a container and can be pruned after flowering to keep in a tight shape, or pruned to create a more interesting open growth habit.
Flowering time is in spring, however many of the Kurume types will spot flower through to summer into autumn.
Most will reach around 1 – 1.5 metres in height. Flower size and form also differs.
Kurume Azaleas – Care
- Garden Uses : Plant as individual specimens in the lawn, or in groups in the garden border. Also used as an informal hedge or grown in containers.
- Position : Best in dappled shade to good morning sun. Full sun is OK, however in warmer climates some protection is best.
- Soil : A humus rich well drained soil with pH slightly on the acidic side. Mulch deeply each year to maintain a cool moist root run.
- Watering : Once established, with good soil and mulch you will only need to water during ling hot dry conditions. In containers regular watering will be required.
- Fertiliser : Use a slow release organic type fertiliser once a year. You can also top dress with some aged cow manure when you renew the mulch.
Some specialist fertilisers for Azaleas are also available.
- Diseases and Problems
One common problem when Azaleas are grown in shade is lace bug, this causes silver y leaves. This can be treated by spaying with insecticidal soap or neem oil .
Kurume Azaleas are available for sale from the following nurseries
138 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788
"Large range of rare and unusual plants.."