An easy azalea bonsai

Make your own bonsai in no time

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An easy azalea bonsai

Norman A. Plate

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This remarkable Kurume azalea bonsai, created by Sunset associate art director Dennis Leong, is just five years old. Leong started it by pruning the canopy of a small azalea to a miniature tree shape. Then he pruned the roots and secured the plant in a bonsai dish.

Kurume and Satsuki azalea hybrids make the best bonsais. They're easy to train; wherever you make a cut, they'll sprout new growth. Bonsai supplies are available at most retail nurseries.

TIME: About 2 hours

COST: $50-$65


• Wire cutters
• 6-inch-square piece of plastic mesh screen
• Bonsai dish (Leong's is 11 inches long by 61/2 inches wide)
• 24-gauge copper wire
• Four sturdy wood matchsticks or 2-inch-long pieces of 1/8-inch-thick wood
• Potting soil
• An azalea
• Pruners and spray bottle
• Chopstick
• Moss spores


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