drying leaf tips - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by MAXUM21
June 2, 2006
I have a Little John Azalea. We Placed it on the back porch,which is on the East side of the house (afternoon shade). We have the porch tree in a 3' round pot. My wife waters it everyother day. My question is, the leaves are turning from red to green with the tips drying up to a brown? what are we doing wrong with the plant? We are in zone 8 and it is above 100 every day now.
Thank you,

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2006
It sounds as though your azalea might need some feeding and it may need more moisture than it is receiving. Browning tips can indicate salt build-up (salt in water or fertilizer) or it can indicate overly dry conditions.

Azaleas require a rich, organic soil on the acid side (low in Ph) in a well-drained area. The addition of PeatHumus or Erth-food to the top 6 inches of soil over the entire planting area is recommended for azaleas. Select an area in partial shade or where it will be protected from the severe heat and exposure of the noonday and afternoon summer sun. An organic mulch 2 to 3inches thick should be applied over the area of azalea planting to help keep the shallow root system of the plants moist and cool. Pine bark or shredded cypress mulch are recommended for azaleas. When applying the mulch, keep it a couple of inches away from the base of each plant. Water azaleas every two or three days; be sure that the water is safe to use, minimally low in salt content.

Azaleas should be fertilized two to three times during the growing season. Use Fertrell?s Holly Care, applying late spring after blooming, and then again mid-summer and early fall. Use one-half to one-quarter of the recommended amount of fertilizer to avoid burning, or use half-strength dilutions of a liquid fertilizer such as Miracid and apply every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. You might also spray the foliage to counteract the iron chlorosis your plant is exhibiting.

Hope your azalea rebounds soon!

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