The Q&A Archives: Azalea Leaves Turning White

Question: I have an azalea that is several years old, it was beside my garage when I moved here in 1991. There is about twelve feet between my house and garage so it is protected from wind, but gets sun every day. It blooms wonderfully every year, but the last two years during the summer the leaves lose their green color and look very pale. They are not yellow, it just looks pale or almost white. The bloom is just as good, but the leaves look sick. There doesn't seem to be any pests and I feed them several times during the summer. The leaves turned brown this winter like the leaves on trees. Can you tell me anything about the problem?

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not sure if it is being affected by some form of mildew or by lacebugs. Lacebugs have been very bad in dry years recently and can cause the leaves to look almost white. You might want to take a sample to your County Extension (792-8690) for a definite identification of the problem and suggested controls.

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