The Q&A Archives: dYING AZALEA

Question: I just planted an azalea about a month ago and it had
started getting a lot of new growth. I had a problem
with my gutter overflowing and got the azalea pretty
wet, but the soil there is usually very dry, but the
azalea has been getting yellow leaves on the bottom and parts of it has the leaves drying out and dying. Can I do anything to stop the tree from dying. Is this because of the overwatering gutter, when I first
planted it. I did put a fertilizer for azaleas on it, but it is still dying.

Answer: It's normal for newly planted trees and shrubs to go through a stressful adjustment period, especially if the weather is warm. Having the roots sitting in saturated soil will certainly add to that stress. When soil remains wet for extended periods of time, air is driven out of the soil and the roots can suffocate. And with azaleas, saturated soils can also cause root rot (a fungal disease). So, your poor plant has several strikes against it. I wouldn't feed it right now - it has enough to do to adjust to the growing conditions and soggy soil. Just leave it alone for now. Water once or twice a week and wait to see if your plant is strong enough to recover. Hope it is!

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