Ask a Question forum: Azalea red red bush is dying

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Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 15, 2017 8:47 AM CST
Help!!! This Mother's Day my kids gave me two azalea bushes! I don't know what I did wrong but one of them looks like it is dying! Here are some pictures!

Thanks


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Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
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obliqua
Jun 15, 2017 9:15 AM CST
Looks like too much water? Does the area drain well? Poorly drained soil allows a soil dwelling fungus to invade the roots of the plant and cause root rot.

When you planted this plant, did you amend the soil? Azaleas should be grown in soil that is acid. They should be planted 11/2 inches above the soil line, so that they do not get too much water. Their roots are shallow and prone to rot if the soil does not drain well.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 15, 2017 4:16 PM CST
I agree. Butt !!! They like shallow frequent waterings. Shallow roots.
Also... There are sun and shade azaleas.
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 15, 2017 4:26 PM CST
Hi and welcome! I think it would be very helpful if you could carefully remove all the dead leaves and flowers so you (and we) can see what is still alive. Even in your second photo, there still are a few green leaves. But they are smothered by all that dead stuff.

If you have been watering a lot, it might be worthwhile to carefully pull one of the bushes out of the ground again, and take a look at the roots. If there is a rotting smell when you lift the bush, it needs to be let dry out a bit, and maybe put in a pot with some sterile potting soil for the summer. Then try planting again in the fall.

Show us more pictures of what you find, please?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 15, 2017 9:17 PM CST
Thank you everyone

I do not water them that often! Maybe once a week if there is no rain I was told not to water them from the garden shop!!!

Do I prune them completely back???

Sorry I'm new to all this gardening and now I feel like I killed them 😪

Thanks again everyone for all the help

Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Jun 15, 2017 9:41 PM CST

Moderator

You have two different member ID's?

The thread "Azalea red red bush is dying!!!" in Ask a Question forum
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 16, 2017 7:22 AM CST
I would not prune. You'll cut off what is still alive, and in the midst of the growing season that would not be good. Just hand pick off the dead leaves and flowers. Leave all green leaves.

Then I think maybe you need to water more unless it's been raining a lot. When you put a plant in the ground, it needs to be watered in deeply so that the root ball doesn't dry out completely while the plant is trying to get established.

Again, I'd gently lift the worst one of the two plants, and see what the root ball looks like. It hasn't been in the ground more than a month, so you shouldn't do much damage. If it is a dry, solid brick of roots, gently break it up a bit, then give it a thorough soaking with the hose, and re-plant. Soak the other bush, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 16, 2017 7:26 AM CST
Thank you

I'll take everything off and try to water them we really haven't had a rain!

I did buy some miracle grow

I only have one member ID, so I don't know why it showed 2!

Crossing Fingers! Thank You!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 16, 2017 7:30 AM CST
I'd advise you not to give them any fertilizer until you see healthy new growth. Just water for now.

@Calif_Sue that other thread is for a person in Oregon, and this lady is in NJ. Amazing coincidence that they both posted the same question on the same day!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 16, 2017 7:33 AM CST
Thank you @dyzzypyxxy

Wow someone else posted the same question!!!!
Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 16, 2017 7:45 AM CST
@Calif_sue- wow that lady posted the same what is that question but hours later

Very weird
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Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Jun 16, 2017 7:46 AM CST
I am thinking it is some type of glitch. Maybe @dave knows.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jun 16, 2017 8:24 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Not a glitch - two different people and an amazing coincidence!
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Jun 16, 2017 8:37 AM CST

Moderator

I locked the other one because it was word for word!! As in a copy and paste! I'll unlock and see what happens.
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Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 16, 2017 8:40 AM CST
@Calif_sue - it is definitely word by word just no pictures where I added the pictures!!!

Seems a little weird since it is everything I said in my post
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Irises Clematis
Garden Photography Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Houseplants
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Calif_Sue
Jun 16, 2017 8:58 AM CST

Moderator

yep, very odd! If there is no reply, I'll lock that thread again.
My gardening Blog!
Hand sewn wares and vintage finds in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Tomato Heads Plant and/or Seed Trader Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Butterflies Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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obliqua
Jun 16, 2017 10:43 AM CST


No stressed plant should be given a chemical fertilizer to "perk" it up. The salts may send it over the edge. Ailing azalea plants should be watered if necessary and moved to a less "hot" sunny area. Planted in soil that has peat moss added to it. A mulch of compost may help restore the vigor to the plant.

Evergreen azalea species grow best in partial shade. There is no clear distinction between azaleas that prefer sun and those that thrive in shade, although deciduous species can typically withstand more sun than evergreen species.
Pennsville NJ
Langley09
Jun 16, 2017 5:48 PM CST
They are in a shaded area with only morning sun for about 3 hours and when we planted them we did a compost!

I did remove most of the leaves and I snapped a branch and the inside is nice and green (hopefully that a good sign )

But I did find a cat in my flower bed using the bathroom near that bush would that kill it!

Here's the bush after I removed the dead leaves
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 16, 2017 9:23 PM CST
Not if it's only one cat and not there all the time. The cat won't go where the branches are, and they are protecting the root zone at the moment anyway. I wouldn't worry about that.

It looks much more encouraging now. Yes, the green inside the broken branch is a good sign. But you need to start watering deeply and regularly. A good deep soak twice a week would not be out of place, if there is no rain. Even if it does rain, quite often it's not really enough to soak down to the roots so keep track of the amount of rain so you 'll know to water or not. A small (clean) empty tuna can or some other small, straight-sided container near the bushes will "measure" the rainfall for you if you don't have a rain gauge. The can should probably be at least half full after a good heavy rain storm.

Once you're sure the plants are putting out new growth, you can start giving them a bit of fertilizer. Mix it at no more than half the strength it says on the package.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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