Ask a Question forum: Azaleas Dying??

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Shrewsbury, MA
AJR04
Apr 30, 2018 11:26 AM CST
Having some issues with the azaleas I planted last spring. They seem brown and dried out but there is some green still. Not sure what to do. Everything else is thriving in the beds.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 30, 2018 11:39 AM CST
Did you plant Azaleas that are winter hardy in your area? Did you dig in plenty of peat?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
[Last edited by DaisyI - Apr 30, 2018 11:40 AM (+)]
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Shrewsbury, MA
AJR04
Apr 30, 2018 3:40 PM CST
DaisyI said:Did you plant Azaleas that are winter hardy in your area? Did you dig in plenty of peat?


Yes to both. Do they look dead? Should I replace?
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 30, 2018 4:04 PM CST
I would probably cut down to live wood and see what happens. This before you give up on them. Just my opinion.

Mindi
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 30, 2018 6:03 PM CST
They aren't dead yet but they do look pretty sad. My Uncle, who grew the most incredible Azaleas, had a theory that's always worked for me. If the Azalea isn't performing, rip it up and replant. He literally ripped them out of the ground! I don't do that but I do dig them up. The idea of the whole thing is that you will add fresh soil, peat and nutrients when you replant.

Azaleas require a pretty acidic soil to be happy. Mine are always happy until they grow out of the hole full of garden soil and peat and into the native soil (I live in an alkaline desert). But even if your native soil is not alkaline, you need to mix about half peat into the planting hole. Make sure it is completely moist so you don't burn the roots. Your soil should have a pH of between 4.5 - 5.5. Higher than that, the Azaleas will sicken and eventually die. Peat is low in nutrients so fertilizing with Azalea food is a must.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
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quercusnut
May 1, 2018 12:49 AM CST
Certain azaleas can look like that after winter. Some are more evergreen than others depending on their parentage. Overall they look ok to me. Most of the tips look green. Wait and see. You might need to prune out some dead wood if it's there. If after pruning out any dead wood you don't like their appearance you could cut them back severely and let new growth come from the base.
I am having much better luck with azaleas and other ericaceous plants now that I am mulching them with straight peat moss. YMMV.
[Last edited by quercusnut - May 1, 2018 12:51 AM (+)]
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