The Q&A Archives: Saving Azalea Bushes

Question: Several of my azalea bushes are turning brown. I have been starting to water them almost every day to try to save them. All the other azalea bushes away from this dying group are doing just fine. They, in fact, look very healthy. Any suggestions how I can save the one group of four azalea bushes from dying?

Answer: Azalea's are subject to root rot and a number of fungal diseases. Unless your plants are situated where the soil drains quickly, they may have root rot. Since this disease affects the entire vascular system, the symptoms include rapid browning of leaves and stems. Leaf fungal diseases can start with spotting, yellowing, and eventual browning of the leaves. To see how far the disease has progressed, scrape the bark on several stems and look for green tissue. Green means the stems and branches are still alive and you can help the plants overcome the problem by pruning away the affected plant parts. If you see no green tissue directly under the bark, the stem or branch is dead. It indicates a root rot condition, for which there is no control. You may have to rogue out the affected plants.

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