Another yellowing Satsuki

I went out of town for two weeks and left my bonsai in the hands of my capable bonsai sitter. When I got back, my Satsuki had a lot of yellow leaves.

I think this is just the normal fall color, as there are green tips. Any other suggestions? Do I continue to fertilize?

Thanks in advance.

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hi @Forestcat what you have there is perfectly normal. Your azalea is going into winter plumage. It is casting off it’s summer leaves (the yellow ones) and with winter resting ones (the green ones) are left surrounding the buds. If you live in an area that is prone to frosts you will need to think of winter protection

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Clipping off the yellow leaves is okay, yes?

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They’ll fall off of their own accord. Just clean them from the pot as you would a deciduous

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Just to set your mind at ease here’s a phot of one of mine in its winter wear. I have disbudded this one as I am growing it on and don’t want the energy going into flowers

hello @Keith-in-UK, you disbudded in fall? or earlier in the season aka summer? Thanks for your feedback! lovely day,

I disbudded earlier in the month. I want all the energy to go into growing rather than flowering. Depending how much growth I get next I might let it flower but I think it will be 2021 before I do. November is the usual time for disbudding as they are large enough to grab with a pair of tweezers.

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ah! yes, the Mesuki …I read that it is recommended to do every 2-3 years even on mature satsukis, to let the plant recover: flowers are taking a lot of energy.

Some people do it every other year, others as you say every 2-3 yrs. I know one person who actually never lets his flower as he likes it only as a bonsai tree.