The Q&A Archives: Brown Azalea Flowers

Question: I had the most beautiful azalea and then I went on vacation and it did not recieve enough water for about a week. Now all of the flowers are brown and crispy. The foliage is still green and robust. Should I clip off the dead flowers, leave them alone,or give up on the poor thing? There are a few more flowers coming back but the color is very pale and I am weary to if they are going to survive.

Answer: The bud blast you describe is probably due to lack of water and you've sacrificed the first flush of bloom, but the plant should recover. Keep it cool (50F - 60F degrees), in a brightly lit spot but away from direct sunshine, and keep the potting soil moist. You can mist the leaves to increase humidity and encourage more flower buds to form. If you want to pinch the flowering tips back to remove the crispy flowers, it won't hurt the plant, and will make it look more attractive. I'm sure, withthe right care, your azalea will forgive your oversight.

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