Answer: You could be describing the symptoms of root rot (overwatering), or the results of underwatering. Plants in containers require watering much more frequently than plants in the ground. As long as the soil is quick-draining, watering as often as necessary to keep soil from completely drying out shouldn't cause root rot. I suspect the plant dried out on more than one occasion and you are just now seeing the symptoms. Don't fertilize at this point - you could further stress an already stressed plant. Do check to see if there's life in the stems and branches, however. Simply scrape the bark away with your thumbnail. Green tissue beneath the bark means there's life in the stem (and hope for the plant). Brown tissue means it's dead. You can prune back dead stems and branches until you get to live wood. This should promote new growth. Water regularly, cross your fingers, and let's hope your azalea will regain its health!
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