The Q&A Archives: Azalea Problems

Question: I have potted shade azaleas. The plants are one foot high in 16 inch clay pots. They have good growth, but the tips of most leaves turn brown, and some leaves die altogether. Can you help me solve the problem?

Answer: Since your azaleas are in pots, the likely cause of the brown leaf tips is fertilizer (or salt) build up in the pot, underwatering, or overwatering. Try flushing the soil of excess minerals by completely saturating the soil several times, letting the water drain freely. Later in the summer you can feed cautiously - try a diluted solution of liquid fertilizer. Let the top of the soil dry out between waterings. You can judge whether your plants need watering by poking your finger down into the soil. If thetop inch is dry, it's time to water. When you water, soak the soil thoroughly, letting the excess drain out. Watch the new growth this spring and see if the problem appears on the new leaves. If so, you might want to start all over with new potting soil in the containers.

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