scraggly azaleas dropping leaves

marciab900(7)January 27, 2009

I have 25 encore azaleas, (autumn ember). 20 of the 25 seem healthy. All are in the same environment and all receive identical care. 5 are dropping leaves. There is some new growth, but most old foliage has dropped. The old leaves remaining are red. This all started in September and as winter has come, naturally, they look worse. Are they dying?

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Probably not. Encore azaleas are evergreen azaleas. They appear to be evergreen because they grow two sets of leaves each year. Evergreen azaleas have dimorphic leaves, known as spring and summer leaves. The spring leaves unfold at the beginning of the growing season and are dropped in autumn. Summer leaves emerge in early summer and are smaller, thicker, darker, and more leathery than spring leaves. They remain on the plant during the dormant period and drop in the spring, however, summer leaves may persist for several years in warm climates. Some "evergreen" azaleas are deciduous in colder climates. Sometimes this is called being semievergreen.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:14AM
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