The Q&A Archives: Wilting Azalea

Question: I have a "Northern lights" Azalea that was not doing well. After speaking to the nursery where I purchased it they suggested digging it up to make sure the root ball was not still 'root-bound", after digging it up it was indeed root-bound so I broke up the root ball, replanted, and added root stimulator. After about an hour the bush was already drooping, and is continuing to get worse.

Answer: You were right in correcting the rootbound condition of your azalea, but the timing wasn't the best. Not only is your plant reeling from the transplanting shock, it's also dealing with hot weather and rapid moisture loss through the leaves. This is the time of year when the plant will be developing flower buds for next year's bloom, so you may have compromised next spring's show. However, the digging and replanting of your shrub should not be fatal to it. Give it a thorough soaking once each week until fall rains take over. It should perk up soon.

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