Azalea in Massachusetts - Knowledgebase Question

Lynn, Ma
Question by Amedogger
May 4, 2008
Hello, I live in Lynn, Massachusetts and I planted an azalea last summer. It appeared to die and looked just like some dead branches. Someone told me to cut it down and see if it would come back next summer. Well, that is now and it's still just a small stump. I am afraid that was the wrong thing to do. Is it dead, never to grow again? I was thinking about pulling it up since it hasnt shown its going to grow but I am so NEW at this gardening stuff, I didnt want to pull it up if I have a chance to save it. Any ideas? Did I kill it? Sad Thank you, Amy


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Answer from NGA
May 4, 2008

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Not all azaleas are winter hardy in your gardening region so it's possible that your plant died over the winter months. A sure way to tell is to cut one of the branches; if it has green tissue, it's still alive and there is hope; if the tissue is brown, that branch is dead. Keep cutting the plant back until you find green tissue. If you find none, the plant is dead and you should remove it from your garden. Most azaleas grow best in shade. If you planted yours in the sunshine, that might account for the problems it had last summer. It also needs to be deeply watered on a regular basis, so if it wasn't, that might also be the cause of the problems you encountered last summer. Try cutting the branches back to see if they're still alive. Best wishes with your garden.

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