What gives with my azalea?
Two small leaf azaleas at our new house are reeeally looking bad. Leaf growth is almost exclusively at branch tips, leaving he center hollow. Some sections are almost completely dead, and pulled up right from the ground with little effort.
All this makes me suspect crown or root rot? No clear evidence of borers. We have heavy clay and I have found with several other plantings that the previous owners tended to stick plants right in a hole in the clay and leave them to get rootbound and rotted, so I imagine that's the story here too. They are also too close to the foundation (about two feet from crown to house) Could I move them and hope for any recovery? Both seem to be putting out new growth at the root, and they are covered in buds, so they seem to want to survive...
Finally, what is the bright green new growth in the photo? It almost looks like when you see root stock putting up growth on grafted roses. Does that ever happen with azaleas? Or is it some other plant entirely that somehow became very well established RIGHT below the azalea? It has a substantial crown mass with thick branches...looks like the previous owners had been hacking it back for years.
Sorry for the long-winded story here. Any help is, as always, so very appreciated