Answer: It is really difficult to diagnose a plant problem without actually seeing it, but I wonder if there is a vascular problem behind the browning leaves. It sounds as though your azaleas grow well during the summer months - that's when they set flower buds for the following spring's display, and if they are flowering on schedule, they must be healthy during the summer. The only difference between summer and winter (besides temperatures) is the amount of water or rainfall. This is what makes me suspicious of the drainage during the winter months, which seems to be resulting in your plants teetering on the brink of root rot. Is there some way you can improve the drainage around your azaleas? Perhaps a gravel-filled trench or a curtain drain so rain water can drain rapidly? I think if you can do that, your azaleas will perk up quite a bit.
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