Azalea troubles

snell1ngsApril 12, 2007

I've already lost one azalea last year to whatever this is pictured. I used Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Control after last springs blooms, and destroyed the dead plant. Please help me identify this problem and instruct me on how to treat my azaleas. It is spreading to the others, and I do not want to lose more.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

It looked like a fungal infection to me. Something like twig blight but I will let others chime in. Insecticides have no effect on fungal infections so I am not surprised that last yearÂs application did not correct the problem.

I do not see this problem here in Texas so I will let others suggest a course of action. If a fungicide can be used, first clean plant debris from under the azalea and replace the mulch with new mulch. Also, I suggest you always water the soil instead of the plant and make sure there is good air circulation around the azaleas.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 1:51AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Hello, snell1ngs. Based on your larger photos, I am going to modify what I said earlier. Instead of being a case of fungus, I am going to say that the growth shown in the pictures is lichen, a fungus that grows alongside some form of bacteria or algae. They basically help each other grow in a form of symbiosis.

I would not consider lichen a threat to your azaleas (leaves and stems) but rather as a warning that something is wrong since high moisture levels are needed to support the development of lichen.

For that reason, please review how much water the plants are receiving (the soil should be moist to the touch, not wet) and whether the soil is draining properly. These problems can result in root rot, a fungus that grows in the roots of azaleas and kills them.

However, if you have root rot, you should notice other symptoms... the leaves wilt as the plant slowly (not suddendly) weakens and dies. Roots from affected plants shown brown fungus. There is no cure for root rot.

Since you did not mention any other symptoms, I am not sure if this could be your problem. It is a tad unusual to see cases of root rot now, though. It seems to be more common during the summer so do let us know what additional symptoms you have noticed... about the leaves? flowers? soil moisture? do you see any place in the main trunk where it looks broken/split/chewed? any insects (like weevils)?


    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 9:49PM
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