The Satsuki Society of Australasia Inc.
Calendar of Satsuki Maintenance

Southern Hemisphere month in caps: Northern Hemisphere italics in brackets

During Mediterranean winters such as in Western Australia, a couple of cold days can be followed by a few mild ones and new growth appears. Don’t be fooled into thinking winter is over and start re-potting - you can kill the plant. Wait!

Hardwood cuttings can be taken at this time. Good for interestingly shaped but unwanted branches that would make a good basis for a new tree. Shohin bonsai are often created from this basis.

Cut off remaining wires. Remove excessive moss so that damage doesn’t occur to surface roots. Ensure good drainage in the pots. Clean and prepare pots and soils for next season.
AUGUST( February ) Still Winter, but time to prepare a re-potting list. Those that are going to be completely re-modelled and may be go from normal potting mix into Kanuma, on the first list and those that are having maintenance pruning and shaping after flowering go on the second list.

If you are developing the main shape of the plant – trunk and branch basic structures plus rapid growth – remove flower buds.

Your re-potting regime will be partly influenced by observing actual flowering times.

Pot on previously rooted cuttings.
SEPTEMBER( March ) Just emerging from Winter, the Satsuki are showing signs of movement. Pot-on struck cuttings. Half way through the month growth is more vigorous and observation will tell you if Spring is really here. Major re-potting can start.
OCTOBER( April ) Some very early crosses may flower but the vast majority of Satsuki are only producing flower buds and new shoots.
Thin these out so that the flowers form a platform of colour.
The shoots from thinning out can be used for softwood cuttings.
A preventative Anti Fungal Spray can be applied this month.
NOVEMBER ( May ) This is the month we have been waiting for.
Most of the flowering will take place toward the end of the month.
Satsuki need plenty of water during flowering but not on the flowers. If you wish to prolong the flowering, move them out of direct sunlight. If they are in full shade too long they will suffer so be careful to move them back into full light slowly.
Take care to protect them from wind.

With varieties that have many variations of pattern, mark the branches from which you will take your cuttings.

As soon as the flowers are on the way out you can re-pot and re-style but do not do a major job on them. This was September/ October’s work.
DECEMBER( June ) Last month and this is the time to enjoy the fruits of your care.
Removing spent flowers will prolong the flowering period.
Take off seed capsules unless you are breeding.
Some late flowering Satsuki will come into their own this month.
You can still re-pot if it is not major, this month.
You will have probably taken plenty of cuttings during these last two months. Make sure they are moist and protected from wind and direct sun. A cloche method works well.
JANUARY( July ) Plenty of water. But do not let them stand in it, they will die.
Apply Anti Fungal Spray. Start fertilising after flowering but not for at least three weeks after re-potting.
Plenty of wiring can be done from the time of re-potting till late Autumn.
FEBRUARY( August ) Water, wire and feed for this month but if it gets very hot they will not take up fertiliser. Be observant as you can damage the plant by feeding when it is too hot.
MARCH( September ) In some climates you still can get some very hot days in March, be very careful. It can be a dangerous month so keep and eye on them.
APRIL( October ) If you are collecting seed, now is the time to do it otherwise the capsules may open and you loose all your seed.
You can still get some hot days so keep a careful eye out on the watering.
MAY( November ) Pleasant warm days, occasional hotter ones but definitely moving towards Autumn. Plenty of wiring can be done to prepare the plant for the next season’s flowering and branch displacement.
Leaves often start to change colour and some varieties take on Some very pretty hues. You can still feed as Satsuki grow until mid Winter frequently. Only stopping in June and July for a short time.
JUNE( December ) The Autumn/Winter colour has developed. Some leaves drop.
At the beginning of the month cuttings can still be potted on.
You can start to take hardwood cuttings.
Remove wires where the branch has “set”.
Give an Anti Fungal Spray.
Note: A constant watch must be kept over wired trees as the wire cuts in and marks the tree very easily. The bark of Satsuki is very thin.
Satsuki are very prone to ‘Root Rot” (Phytophthera Cinnamomi) hence the preventative Anti-Fungal Spray.
They do not like “Wet Feet”.
Cuttings can be taken all year.
Kanuma inhibits Root Rot. Mixing Kanuma and Akadama does NOT!
If a variety produces red fowers, white flowers, and striped flowers take your cuttings off the striped flower braches for the same variations of the parent.
Be vigilant. Observation is the most important element in Satsuki culture.
Petal Blight can be controlled by applying Bayleton Garden fungicide every 2 Weeks from bud swell stage through to the end of flowering.

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