The Q&A Archives: Browning Tips on Azaleas

Question: I have two azaleas in a shady corner, each over 5 years old. I noticed last spring and this spring that the tips of the leaves are turning dry and dark brown and eventually curl up and die. It happens mainly on the upper portions of the plant, as if it has windburn from the winter (it is pretty darn cold here most years). Late frosts killed the flowers two years in a row. A rhododendron at the opposite end of the same site had an entire portion turn brown and die. I had been fertilizing with one of those "specially for acid-loving plants" products. Can you tell me what's up?

Answer: Based on your description it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis of the problem. It is possible that some winter damage is occurring, especially if they are evergreens exposed to excessive wind or winter sun. It is also possible that there is a disease at work. You might wish to consult with your County Extension (355-4897) for a specific diagnosis and recommended controls, if any.

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