The Q&A Archives: Azaleas Losing Leaves

Question: I received 2 azaleas from a funeral. One is the typical pink houseplant. Was beautiful for two days then every leaf and flower fell off. I had water it adequately according to small card with plant. The other plant is a azeala tree with a braided trunk. It is doing well but is showing signs of losing leaves much like the other. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: I know it can be disappointing to lose plants but it sometimes happens with florist's azaleas. This is mainly because the plants have been forced to bloom out of season through the manipulation of light and temperatures. While they were in full bloom they were refrigerated to maintain that bloom. When they were delivered, they experienced normal amounts of daylight and normal temperatures. This is enough shock to make them defoliate and to possibly kill them. You can try to nurse the smaller plant back to health by providing bright but indirect light, normal household temperatures and enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet. Ditto for the tree azalea. It may drop all its leaves, but the roots may remain alive. Just keep giving it good care and it may adjust. Hope so!

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