dead azelias plants - Knowledgebase Question

North Syracuse, NY (Zone 5A)
Avatar for lizardking14
Question by lizardking14
July 30, 2005
hi i have planted 3 azelias bushes they have all turned brown and died.what am i doing wrong i have watered them when they need it.what should my soil look like thank you for your time.

Answer from NGA
July 30, 2005
Azaleas do best in morning sun or bright dappled light all day. The soil should be somewhat acidic in the area of about 5.5 pH. It mustbe organic and humusy so that it stays evenly moist yet is also well drained meaning never soggy or saturated/sopping wet.

These plants will not do well if planted in heavy clay based soil, for example. These plants are shallow rooted and should not be planted too deeply, this is frequently a cause of loss.

A year round layer of organic mulch applied about two to three inches deep in a flat layer over the root zone is helpful in keeping the soil evenly moist and also feeding the soil slowly over time. They are not heavy feeders so the rotting down of the mulch over time often provides enough nutrients without fertilizers.

Transplant stress, poor rooting, poor planting site and inadequate (or too much) moisture can all cause these plants to die. There are also some pests and diseases that can affect azaleas, or they can suffer from overfertilizing and other issues. I would suggest you work with professionally trained nursery staff and/or your county extension to try to determine why your plants died and work from there. I'm sorry you are having trouble.

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