The Q&A Archives: White Mottled Azalea Leaves

Question: The leaves on several of my azaleas have developed a white, mottled appearance. Typically this discolored area occurs along the middle of the leaves, while the margins of the leaves retain a healthy green color. I haven't seen galls or anything powdery.

Is this a fungus problem? If so, is it appropriate to treat now, in the early Fall?

Answer: It sounds like your azaleas may have suffered an infestation of lace bugs this summer. If the damage is still occurring they can be controlled with repeated applications of insecticidal soap or Sevin according to the label instructions. Keep an eye out for them next year, too, beginning in late spring. To be sure that's the problem, you might wish to take a sample to your County Extension agent to verify the cause of the damage and suggested controls. Their telephone number is 590-9638.

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