Looks sick...Please ID the problem

vinny_75(6)April 6, 2006

I planted this last year and I live in Northern Connecticut. Now I dont know if this is how azaleas look early spring due to frost or what not...but I get a feeling it is sick. Can someone tell me if its true so that I can dig up these 2 plants and return to the local nursery...

Thank You


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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

This perfectly normal. That is something you pay extra for. It is the fall and winter foliage color. Evergreen azaleas are dimorphic. This means that they have two sets of leaves. The set that you are looking at is the summer leaves. Evergreen azaleas appear to be evergreen because they grow two sets of leaves each year. The other set of leaves is the spring leaves. The spring leaves unfold at the beginning of the growing season and will be nice and green and are dropped in autumn. Summer leaves emerge in early summer and are smaller, thicker, darker, and more leathery than spring leaves. On some evergreen azaleas the summer leaves develop nice bronzish fall foliage color. 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.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Thanks. I meant more on the appearance of the plant and not just the color of the leaves. Thanks for the information and now I understand the different colors I should expect. But that stretched, withered leaves appearance made me think if there was a desease. .

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 10:43AM
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They are perfectly healthy by any means. Take it from a fellow CT azalea lover. LOL.
Anyway, on a second picture I noticed vinca minor growing next to your young azalea.
I'd avoid such neighbor for azalea, especially young, not established yet one.
Vinca is a groundcover that has a same surface roots as azaleas and would compete for nutrients and most importantly, water with it.
I wouldn't bet on azalea to win.
It's somewhat agressive and may (probably will) create problem to your azalea.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 11:48AM
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Thanks. I am thinking of relocating the groundcover sometime this spring. it was a bad spot to begin with.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 12:29PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Don't disturb the roots of the azaleas when you move the vinca. Azaleas have shallow roots. Hopefully there will be enough separation between the roots that you can pull the vinca roots away from the azalea without disturbing the azalea.

The dead withered leaves are the spring leaves that were shed last fall. After the new spring leaves come out, the summer leaves will start being shed.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 4:49PM
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