azalea bushes - Knowledgebase Question

Philadelphia, PA (Zone 6B)
Avatar for bader9
Question by bader9
May 26, 1999
My azalea bushes had beautiful flowers on them for a couple of weeks. But, now the flowers are falling off and
the bushes look like they are sick. The area is mostly shade and the bushes were planted in clay soil. I have
been mixing in compost and manure. Can you tell me what I can do to bring my azaleas back to life?

Answer from NGA
May 26, 1999
Azalea blooms generally last for only a few weeks, so that is normal. In order to make suggestions about the rest of your question, it would be helpful to know some of the symptoms. However, if they are turning a speckled white, they may be suffering from a lace bug infestation (these often become visible soon after bloom).

If they are turning brown, they may be suffering from over watering, under watering, too much sun or too much wind.

If they are turning yellow, they may be protesting your soil. Azaleas do not do well on clay because they require a humusy, organic soil that is moist yet well drained (not soggy). It must also be acid. They are shallow rooted and intolerant of digging and other forms of root disturbance, including changes in grade.

You might wish to contact your County Extension (560-4150) if you have doubts about your soil or for a more specific diagnosis and suggestions as to what to do for them now. Good luck with your azaleas!

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